Summer of Salads: Garden Salad

Although I hold appreciation for foie gras bon-bons and osetra caviar, haute cuisine isn't the only food I'll open my heart (and stomach) to: Since I've never been able to outgrow my love for Americana staples such as processed cheese and the McDonald's Egg McMuffin, I simply embrace them.

Another big-chain menu item I crave? The enormous bowl of garden salad that's a part of every visit to the Olive Garden. On the rare occasion that I find myself dining at the restaurant, there's something about the ultracrisp lettuce leaves, the mildly earthy black olives, and the pickled juice that squirts out of the pepperoncini that calls to my senses. So when I recently came across a test kitchen attempt to replicate the salad, I couldn't resist trying it at home. For a crunch-quenching side that's perfect for a 4th of July celebration, keep reading.

Almost-Famous Garden Salad

Almost-Famous Garden Salad


  1. Dressing:
  2. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  4. 3 tablespoons Miracle Whip
  5. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  6. 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  7. 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  9. Salad:
  10. 1 10-ounce bag American salad blend
  11. 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  12. 4 small pickled peppers, such as pepperoncini
  13. 1 small vine-ripened tomato, quartered
  14. 2 tablespoons sliced black olives
  15. 1/2 cup large croutons
  16. 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese


  1. Combine all the dressing ingredients and 1 to 2 tablespoons water in a blender or food processor; puree until smooth.
  2. Place the salad blend in a large bowl and top with the remaining salad ingredients.
  3. Drizzle with the dressing.

Serves 4.

Average ( votes):
Soup, salad and breadsticks are the only things I order at the OG. Oh and a peach iced tea, too.
I grew up so Italian that jarred sauce was (and still is) a sin, the Olive Garden makes me shudder.
Whenever I go to the Olive Garden, it's only for their salad and bread sticks. I don't care much about the rest, but their salad rocks! I'll be trying this at home too. :feedme:
i love salad from the OG!
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