While I enjoy going to unique restaurants and food destinations, one of mine and Mr. Tipsy’s favorite places to eat out occasionally is the Olive Garden. Sometimes I go just to have the salad and bread sticks. For some reason that salad just hits the spot. I wanted to recreate it at home and that is how I came up with the recipe for this Simple Salad with an Easy Creamy Italian Dressing. I took everything I love about that Olive Garden salad and made it my own. This salad makes a great dinner and an especially great lunch. The recipe for this Simple Salad with an Easy Creamy Italian Dressing has no meat but you can add it if you wanted to. The recipe is fairly simple, I did use an immersion blender to make the dressing but if you have a whisk or a regular blender you can make it without an immersion blender. Here is what you need to make this delicious and easy recipe.
- 1 Head of Iceberg Lettuce
- 1 Purple Onion, sliced thin
- 12 Provolone Cheese Slices, cut into squares
- 12 Pepperoncini Peppers
- 1 Can of Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Heaping Tablespoon of Dried Italian Seasoning
- 3/4 C of Rice Vinegar
- 3/4 C of Olive Oil
- 1 T of White Sugar
- 1 t Salt
- 1 t of Black Pepper
- 1 Clove of Garlic, Grated
- 2 T of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
This salad reequires no cooking. As I said earlier you will need to use a blender or whisk the dressing really well to make sure the dressing comes out creamy, that is the only step that needs to be done exactly right. The rest of the steps are as follows:
- Wash, pat dry and tear lettuce into bote sized pieces. Do not use a knife as this causes the lettuce to turn brown faster.
- Halve your onion after removine the peel and slice into thin strips.
- Cut your provolone cheese into squares.
- Rinse and drain your beans well. Make sure you give them a good rinse or they will make your salad very salty.
- Toss the lettuce with the beans, cheese, and the onions and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine your vinegar, olive oil, italian seasoning, sugar, salt, pepper amd your grated garlic and using a whisk, blender or immersion blender, blend really well.
- Add the mayo to the dressing one tablespoon at a time and make sure it is well combined and creamy . I used an immersion blender to make sure that there were no chunks of mayo in the salad.
- Toss the salad with the dressing, or you can keep them separate and add the dressing to the salad when you are ready to eat.
That is all there is to this delcious salad. It is light but the beans add some bulk to this salad so that you don’t miss the meat. You can add meat if you want to, chicken would be great or salami and pepperoni are also good options. This is a great salad to make for a party or even for a simple weeknight dinner. The dressing can be stored in an air tight container for up to two weeks. In my opinion, the dressing gets even better as it sits and the flavors come together. Fair warning, this Simple Salad with an Easy Creamy Italian Dressing has some saltiness to it, so you may want to adjust the salt you add. You can also reduce the sodium by using a white or red wine vingear instead of the rice wine. I will say, that you need very little dressing for the salad to taste great so keeo in mind you are using less. I hope you give this recipe a try and that you enjoy it as much as we did.
I have some other awesome Salads and Lighter Recipes on my blog, CLICK HERE to check them out!