We did a big Italian dinner for a few couples this past weekend and Hubby wanted me to make and serve the Olive Garden Salad and Dressing ... we had everything in house and what better salad to go along with a nice Italian dressing then this??
There are a LOT of recipes out there that claim to be "Just Like Olive Garden", however, they use cream cheese, ranch dressing packets, and so on. This one does NOT. It's fairly healthy, with the exception of the corn syrup, which if anyone has a substitution, by all means, LET ME KNOW!
This is a very very thin dressing, not thick and creamy like you would expect .... I always make a double batch as we will eat a salad every night til the jar is empty ...
Here's what you need to make this awesome dressing (this is a double batch!)
1 cup mayo (bonus point if you made your own, but I didn't this time!)
2/3 cup white vinegar
2 tsp veg oil
4 tbs corn syrup (now that I'm a little healthier minded, need to find something as substitute)
4 tbs Parmesan cheese (I'd like to say use the real deal and it really does make a difference, but I've used the green canister in a pinch and it was fine)
4 tbs Romano cheese (if you don't have this, just double up on the Parmesan cheese)
1 clove of garlic finely minced (are you prepping your garlic in batches?)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp parsley flakes
juice of a half a lemon
Toss all ingredients in the blender and let it rip. Can I just tell you how much I love using the VitaMix (honestly, I have to find things to make in it, sad, isn't it??)
Pour all in a jar that has a tight fitting lid and put in the fridge. Taste best after an hour or so ...
Now, if you want to make the real salad to go along .... that's easy too! (Sorry, no pics, I need to get one of my guest to forward me one as they were all snapping away!)
1 head of iceburg lettuce, rinsed, dried and chopped
1 red onion, sliced thin and soaked in ice water for 15 minutes
handful of whole, pitted black olives
handful of shredded carrots (make life simple and shred in the food processor!)
whole pepperoncini ... based on the number of people eating x 2 (each person can have 2)
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Toss all your lettuce in large bowl. Scatter the red onions and olives across the top. Mound carrots on 2 sides and toss the pepperoncini over the salad itself. Serve cheese along side with dressing.
Hot dog! This stuff is excellent and I could eat it all day long (umm, I have been since Saturday night ... made another batch of dressing tonight!)
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