Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Copycat Olive Garden Salad

Typically when someone is called a copycat it is not meant to be a compliment, but I guess that depends on who or what you are accused of copying. If someone were to tell me that I was a Celin Dion copycat, I would definitely not consider that an insult, but since I can't sing very well I don't have to worry about that ever happening :)

I think it is best to be original. I don't like to copy others; instead I like to get "inspiration" from others. For instance, I am not a fashionista, but I can identify those who are and get inspiration on how to dress.

There are times however when something is so good you just need to flat out copy the original. This is definitely true with this salad recipe. I am sure that many of you have enjoyed the wonderful salad at Olive Garden Restaurants. Their unlimited soup, salad, and breadstick deal is awesome! I could just about eat my weight in the salad. I was so excited when I came across this recipe a few months ago at www.tammysrecipes.com. I filed it away in my recipe binder waiting for just the right occasion. About a month ago my neighbor had a girl's movie night/Wii dance party. It was loads of fun! I took this salad to the party and it was a hit! It really does tastes just like Olive Garden's salad. So in this case, being a copycat is a good thing.

Olive Garden Salad and Dressing

Yield: 8-12 servings
 Salad Ingredients:
1 bag American Blend Dole Mix
4-5 slices red onion
1 can Black Olives chopped or sliced (I prefer to use kalamata olives.)
2-4 Pepperoncini peppers
1/2 cup or more Croutons (for gluten free, don't add croutons)

1 Tomato, chopped
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup White Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. Corn Syrup (I add a tad bit more since I like the dressing a little sweeter.) 

2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp Romano cheese
1/2 tsp Garlic salt or clove
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Parsley Flakes
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1. Combine salad ingredients and toss.
2. Whirl all dressing ingredients in the blender and pour over salad, coating well. Toss if desired. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over top and serve.

Buon Appetito!

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