Italian Salad with Garlicky Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Italian Salad with Garlicky Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

A light and pretty salad is the perfect way to round out a meal (I love serving this salad with Beef Bolognese).  This one also happens to be incredibly easy to make and really delicious.

You can make the vinaigrette ahead of time (just don’t dress the salad until ready to serve.)  While most bottled salad dressings are loaded in preservatives, sugar and hydrogenated fats (the worst kind!), this particular dressing is all natural and full of fresh, real ingredients like garlic, sun dried tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil.  I swapped croutons with crunchy baked chickpeas for crunch (you can find these in the snack section at many supermarkets.)  I also think that the cucumber and onion is totally optional; serving this as an elegant “greens only” salad works too!  Looking to improve your health fast? Aim to eat a salad a day to load up on vitamins, minerals, anti-aging, disease fighting antioxidants and fiber.

Italian Salad with Garlicky Sun Dried Vinaigrette

Makes about 8 side salads or 4 dinner salads
INGREDIENTS FOR DRESSING:
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • About ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a microplane
  • About 1/4 cup organic sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil in a jar, chopped (organic to avoid the preservatives found in most sun dried tomatoes)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried oregano
  • Honey to taste
INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD:
  • 10ish cups Mixed greens or Romaine Lettuce (it’s tough to measure salad greens. Just use what you normally would for a big salad)
  • 1 head radicchio, chopped
  • ½ thinly sliced red onion (optional)
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced (optional)
  • Crunchy baked chickpeas found in the snack aisle (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Pour red wine vinegar into a small bowl.  Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking constantly until a vinaigrette forms.  Whisk in garlic and sun dried tomatoes.  Add about ¼ teaspoon salt and some fresh ground black pepper. If you like oregano, add a few dashes of that too.
  2. Next, taste the dressing. It’s likely going to be super tangy, so add in about a teaspoon of honey at a time until it is balanced (not too tangy, not to sweet.)  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, toss salad ingredients (minus the crunchy baked chickpeas) with the dressing. Top with chickpeas if desired.
SO, WHAT’S THE NUTRITION BALANCE?

This recipe is mostly carbohydrates and fat.  Pair with your favorite protein like chicken or beef or serve as a side salad with Beef Bolognese 🙂

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