Thursday, July 23, 2009

THE Salad

Yep, the all-you-can-eat, married-to-breadsticks, fantastic-with-soup, Olive Garden's salad. What? You love me now? Excellent. I love winning friends with food.

I've been posting a lot of heavy food on my blog recently. Not exactly bikini season menu. I never attempt to wear a bikini, though. Modesty issues aside, I was never blessed with such a body, and I'm far too lazy and love food way too much to attempt at working for one. (I'm learning to embrace my squishiness.)

While I'm on the topic, it always bothered me that the proportion of bikinis in a store is substantially larger than either tankinis or one-piecers. This obviously doesn't reflect the proportion of people in the population who have any business wearing bikinis.

Nothing like a rant before a recipe, eh? A-a-a-nyways . . .

This is one of the salads I posted to lighten things up (and to de-grease my front page). Like it says, this salad is pretty darn close to Olive Garden's. Food Network Magazine (which, by the way, has won me over in getting a subscription) did a great job at this copycat. They printed their version of the breadsticks, too, but those will have to wait for another day -- a day when I'm not wearing a swimsuit.

Almost-Famous Garden Salad (Olive Garden Copycat)
from Food Network Magazine June/July 2009

For the dressing:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Miracle Whip (I know, I know, but I think it gives the dressing its distinct flavor.)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

For the salad:
1 10-ounce bag American salad blend (I used a mixture of Romaine and spring greens)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
4 small pickled peppers, such as pepperoncini
1 small vine-ripened tomato, quartered
2 tablespoons sliced black olives
1/2 cup large croutons
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

Combine all the dressing ingredients and 1 to 2 tablespoons water in a blender or food processor; puree until smooth.

Place the salad blend in a large bowl and top with the remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with the dressing.

Serves 4.

Print Recipe Text Only

Originally Posted Here


  1. HA, so it THAT what the elusive ingredient is? I normally hate the taste Miracle Whip, but I adore Olive Garden's that might require that I get some. I'm going to love trying this recipe...but not so I can fit into a bikini either :)

  2. I am totally, TOTALLY going to make THE salad. My hubby will love me forever. The OG salad is the only salad he will eat and he loves it!

  3. Oh yum! I love Olive Garden salad! Thanks for sharing so I can make it myself. :o)


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