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Mega Italian Salad

15 mins Cook
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Copy of NomNom Recipes 1 13

Each person needs a big, fast, juicy Italian Salad recipe in their lives, and this is my favorite. It has croutons, a dusting of parmesan, and a homemade Italian dressing I adore. This goes nicely with all things Italian however especially with comfortable ingredients like pasta, parmigiana, and lasagna.

Or, have it as a wholesome but gratifying meal. pass over Caesar salad!

Italian Salad

Mega Italian Salad

I christened this a MEGA Italian salad which will seize your interest with an implied promise that it’s better than just your basic ordinary lawn Salad. Did it work? if you’re reading this, then hah, it did!
I may be jesting however absolutely this salad in reality is mega – both in length and tastiness. if you’re used to bottled Italian dressing you’re going to fall in love with this homemade quantity which receives a flavor raise from seasonings and the secret factor, parmesan.

As for the salad itself, it would appear like a jumble of traditional salad tidbits. however truly, there’s a completely deliberate stability of vegetables in it so it doesn’t taste like another basic salad, however as a substitute the sort of salad you’d order at your favorite rustic, circle of a relatives-run local Italian restaurant.

For the ones of you within the States – suppose the signature garden Salad at Olive Garden. It tastes like that, besides the dressing is higher!

What you need for my Mega Italian Salad

Right here’s what you want to make my high-quality Italian salad. sure, there are a few very precise “1/2 this” and “half of that”, and “massive this” and “entire that” in this. I warned you – I’m very unique about the right stability of ingredients for my favorite Italian salad!


  • Cos /romaine lettuce – We use a whole head for a huge salad nowadays. I chop, wash, and then spin-dry the leaves in my notable $5 Ikea salad spinner that I’ve owned for 15 years (right here’s the only one bought these days).
  • As for what length to chop the portions, it comes all the way down to eater preference. I love large chunks for a big, voluminous salad. if you’re coping with smaller or less grasping mouths, you might need to cut the pieces smaller.
  • substitute with iceberg or other crunchy lettuce of desire.
  • Tomatoes – 2 large juicy ones. Or three medium ones. Cherry tomatoes also are best. but for this salad, I opt for the juiciness of larger ones cut up.
  • crimson onion – simply 1/2, finely sliced. For freshness and some bite, littered at some stage in.
  • Capsicum/bell pepper – also just 1/2. I don’t need capsicum to dominate the salad too much and flavor like a Greek Salad. We’re making an Italian salad right here!
  • Kalamata olives, pitted, whole – you can use any olives you want here although I personally lots select the flavor and texture of kalamata olives in preference to the generically labeled “black olives”. I love the usage of whole olives because biting into smooth, briny olives is part of why I like this salad so much.
    Bread for croutons – certainly, this salad is one hundred% first-class to make without croutons. but with? That’s how I experience justified in calling this a MEGA Italian salad!
  • note: the croutons are particularly a bit larger than normal, made with inventory-widespread white sandwich bread. It’s a whole lot more pleasurable crunching into extra-large golden croutons than delicate infants (they have their vicinity, just no longer in this!).
  • Parmesan – For sprinkling all over the salad, bringing salty umami to the birthday party. It’s the alternative little component that offers this salad that extra part. if you’re new to parmesan in salads, be organized to be wowed!


And here’s what you want for Italian Dressing:

  • Parmesan – Yep, extra. that is the name of the game component that gives Italian Dressing the threshold, but people hardly ever choose that it’s within the dressing. They simply comprehend it’s darn tasty!
  • Dried herbs and spices – Basil and garlic powder, plus a touch of purple chili flakes. I in particular pick to use dried basil for the earthy flavor it brings this dressing as an alternative to the freshness of raw basil. Plus, it also approaches I’m able to make this Italian dressing yr-round and no longer simply summertime.
  • extra virgin olive oil – if you’ve each questioned why even simple salads at upmarket eating places taste so excellent, the solution is great first-rate oil and vinegar. I preserve affordable olive oil for cooking and reserve the good stuff for salads. This salad deserves great things!
  • crimson wine vinegar – crafted from wine (truly?), this vinegar is milder and has extra flavor than your normal white distilled vinegar. crimson or white wine vinegar may be used here, though I particularly like the color of red wine vinegar within the dressing. Of course, the fun police will constantly point out that after it’s tossed thru the salad you couldn’t truly inform if it’s pink or white wine vinegar

How to make my Mega Italian Salad

I didn’t make a recipe video for this salad because it’s so straightforward.

  • Shake the dressing in a jar (my preferred method for ease + leftovers garage)
  • Toss collectively with all the salad ingredients and serve properly away. no person likes soggy croutons and wilting lettuce!

MAKE beforehand – just hold the salad and cut loose the vegetables. It’s top for 24 hours, and nevertheless suitable for 48 hours.

What to serve with Mega Italian Salad

that is a salad that’s a herbal pairing with all things Italian, which includes:

  • Your favored pasta – whether or not it be Spag Bol, a creamy fowl pasta, or eggplant and tomato Pasta all Norma;
  • A huge pasta bake;
  • Perennial crowd fav lasagna;
  • a cozy tray of cannelloni; or
  • A homemade to-die-for chook or eggplant parmigiana.

It’s going to paintings alongside maximum dishes and cuisines besides perhaps Asian food, middle eastern, Indian food and so on. you understand the kind of flavors I mean!

I’d like to recognize what you serve this with if you make it as a side or as a meal. I in reality think this salad should provide Caesar salad a run for its cash. And attempt adding chook for an Uber Mega Italian Salad!

Mega Italian Salad

Mega Italian Salad

Each person needs a big, fast, juicy Italian Salad recipe in their lives, and this is my favorite. It has croutons, a dusting of parmesan, and a homemade Italian dressing I adore. This goes nicely with all things Italian however especially with comfortable ingredients like pasta, parmigiana, and lasagna.
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
15 mins
total time
25 mins




  • 3 slices white sandwich bread , ~1.75 cm / 3/4" thick, crust off, cut into cubes (Note 1)

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 pinches salt


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (Note 2)

  • 4 tsp freshly grated parmesan (Note 1)

  • 2 tsp sugar (any)

  • 1/4 tsp each garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp dried basil

  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes (red pepper flakes), optional

  • 1/2 tsp cooking/kosher salt

  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

  • SALAD:

  • 1 head cos / romaine lettuce , chopped into large or small bite size pieces (Note 3)

  • 2 large tomatoes , cut into 6 to 8 wedges, then each wedge in half

  • 1/2 green capsicum/bell pepper , 1.5cm / 2/3″ cubes

  • 1/2 red onion , finely sliced

  • 1 cup whole pitted kalamata olives (Note 4)

  • 1/4 cup (tightly packed) finely grated parmesan


Croutons: Preheat oven to two hundred°C/390°F (one hundred eighty°C fan). Toss bread with oil and salt. spread on a tray and bake for 15 mins, stirring twice, until golden and completely crisp. Cool on tray.
Dressing: Shake ingredients in a jar.
Make the salad: Set apart a few parmesans for garnish. place croutons and all remaining salad substances in a big bowl. Pour Dressing over, and toss properly.
Serve: transfer salad right into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with reserved parmesan. Serve right away!


Bread – I like the use of regular white sandwich bread right here, no longer sourdough or other chewy artisan bread. I just like the soft crumble of croutons on this salad. Use any bread you’ve got although – anything is better than no croutons! Thicker slices = bigger croutons = larger effect. however even worth making with regular thin sandwich bread. crimson wine vinegar is my favorite vinegar to apply. White wine vinegar can also be used. replacement with apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar. three. Lettuce – exceptional substitute is an iceberg, else use any lettuce of choice (crispier higher than sensitive). Chop into bite-size pieces – I do massive because I like voluminous salads. if you are feeding little human beings you may need to cut smaller. Olives – I like complete kalamata for the best flavor and texture. I locate some other regular black olives to the company for my taste. but you can use any of your favorite olives. five. garage – best made sparkling! As soon as dressed, the lettuce will wilt and not be very best after around 30 minutes. best way to store is to preserve the dressing separate from the salad. hold croutons within the pantry, parmesan in a box, then ultimate salad elements jumbled up together within the fridge. it'll hold like this for twenty-four hours, forty-eight hours it’s still adequate. now not brilliant past this. nutrition in step with serving.
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