I found this recipe on Once Upon a Chef several years ago and my note in the corner of the printed recipe says “Awesome!”….so need I say more. This Big Italian Salad is a great summer salad, especially if you have your own garden for fresh herbs and tomatoes! I requested this salad as part of my birthday dinner this year, so this picture is actually of the salad my husband made for me! He was having trouble ribbon cutting the carrots, but it still tasted great!
Big Italian Salad
By Jennifer Segal
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (or a few leaves, if you grow it)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1 large head romaine lettuce (or 3 hearts), washed, dried and cut into large, bite-sized pieces
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup seeded and chopped hothouse cucumbers
- 1 carrots, peeled into ribbons*
- Handful grape tomatoes, halved
- Handful pitted olives
- Feta, crumbled to taste
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor and blitz to blend.**
- Place all of the salad ingredients except for the cheese in a large bowl. Right before serving, add about half of the dressing and toss well. Add more dressing little by little as necessary; be sure to dress greens very generously, otherwise salad will be bland. Toss in the cheese, then taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper (or even honey), if necessary.
*When I was growing up, marinated vegetable salad was a popular dish. Carrots hold up well to dressing, so one thing I might suggest is placing your ribbon cut carrots in a small sealable container and then drizzling a very small amount of the dressing over the top. Stir to coat and place them in the fridge. Add the glazed carrots to the salad just before serving. If you cut your carrots first, they could marinate for about 15 minutes or so while you finishing prepping your salad/meal.
**I have found that this dressing tastes even better the next day, so I recommend making it either the day before or at least a few hours before serving. It tastes great the day of, but I can honestly say the left-over dressing tastes even better! I wouldn’t make it more than a day in advance, but I have found the intensity of the flavours is magnified over time. The original recipe doesn’t suggest making it ahead, so if you are flying by the seat of your pants…just make and serve!