Almost Famous Garden Salad

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October 28, 2010 by Flora Dawn

I am guessing that one of the most popular items on the Olive Garden menu is actually the Garden Salad.  It seems like everyone loves that salad. Well, I have tried a couple knock-off versions, and the one from Food Network is by far the best. In truth, I haven’t been to the restaurant in several years, so I am not exactly sure how close this version is to the original. But, I can tell you that this is indeed a very good salad.

The salad dressing is really easy to throw together, especially if you have a mini food processor. And the salad, with olives and tomatoes should be hit with most families. I choose to add the dressing to the individual portions of salad, that way we can eat leftovers without all the wilting. However, if you are feeding  a crowd you could just pour it all on and give it a good toss.

My version of an Almost Famous Salad

Almost-Famous Garden Salad

Salad:

We don’t like pickled peppers, so I leave them out.

  • 1 10-ounce bag American salad blend
  • 1/4 a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato sliced or a small handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • about 1/2 a cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 TB freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
  • 4 small, pickled peppers (like pepperoncini)

Dressing:
I have made this with Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip. However, Miracle Whip is a bit tangier in my opinion, so if I use it, I leave out the lemon juice.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 TB white wine vinegar
  • 3 TB Miracle Whip
  • 2 TB grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 TB lemon juice, optional
  1. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently.
  2. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add 1-2 tablespoons water to reach desired consistency. Add lemon juice to taste if desired. Drizzle over salad. Any leftover dressing will store several days in the refrigerator.
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