At every Italian restaurant I’ve ever been too, I always order the dinner salad. I always hope for something better, something with quality ingredients, something exciting. Time after time I am majorly disappointed, so I have just given up. From the bottled drab dressing, to the 2 pathetic lonely olives lost in a sea of iceberg lettuce, they just don’t cut it for me. So instead of traveling to Italy or New York City every time I want a good Italian salad, I have taken matters in my own hands, and started making my Italian salads at home. I can add as many Kalamata olives and sweet and hot peppers as I want, and make a real fresh dressing. For this salad, I made a fresh vinaigrette that resembles a basil pesto, but with red wine vinegar and shallots. The taste is so fresh and delicious you won’t believe it.
Italian Salad and Fresh Basil Vinaigrette
For the Salad
1 head of romaine, chopped
1 small jar of pitted Kalamata olives
3 roma tomatoes, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 cup sweet and hot salad pepper rings
1/2 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
For the Dressing
a bunch of fresh basil
a bunch of fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1. Add basil, parsley, vinegar and shallot to food processor for dressing. Pulse until blended. Then turn on processor and stream in olive oil. Add salt and pepper and set dressing aside.
2. Add all ingredients for salad to a large bowl. Top with dressing.