Olive Garden Style Salad

So we were just talking Olive Garden Breadsticks…but what are the breadsticks without the salad?!?  

I mean, let’s be honest, the Olive Garden Salad is all about the dressing.  Sure, you can buy it, but why not make it fresh instead?

So, it’s a little funny that I’m even making this salad/dressing, because I’m notorious for underdressing salads (read: I almost never use salad dressing!)

But I’m willing to make an exception for Olive Garden.  Enough to even make the dressing at home.

This version is spicy and delicious and seems very close to the original! 

Olive Garden Salad lovers will notice that I skipped the tomato and onion in the photo.  When I made this salad, tomatoes were still very much off season and not worth putting on a salad and though I enjoy cooked onions, I still can’t handle raw onions, so you generally won’t see them in any of my recipes!  But if you like both ingredients (or if they’re in season – go ahead and add them!)

Olive Garden Style Salad

Adapted from My Recipes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise
½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¾ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
Kalamata olives
Whole Pepperoncini
Cucumber slices
Tomato slices
Red onion slices

Place all of the dressing ingredients into a small blender and blend until smooth.

Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.  Add the dressing and mix.  Serve immediately.