Italian Chopped Salad Recipe

Italian Chopped Salad Recipe
A couple of years ago I tasted a fabulous Italian Chopped Salad at an Italian restaurant in Cleveland; it was so good, I actually dreamed about it when I got home. I experimented a little to get the flavors right, and have since served it to guests and catering clients on several occasions. The following is my quick and easy version of that salad, which has drawn raves and recipe requests every time I’ve served it.
The original salad at the restaurant included prosciutto, which had been baked until crisp, and crumbled. Because of the prohibitive cost of prosciutto and the time needed to crisp it, I’ve substituted precooked and crumbled bacon. Make sure you chop the lettuces very fine, as well as the tomato and onion. This can be done several hours ahead. To prevent the lettuce from turning brown after chopping, use a non-metal knife or a lettuce knife to chop it. My favorite knife is a Kyocera ceramic chef’s knife, which I use for almost everything, and always to chop lettuce. Also, make sure you use a salad spinner to remove any residual water after washing the lettuce; it stays fresher longer and doesn’t water down the dressing.

The Restaurant Style Italian Dressing is easy since the ingredients can all be put in the blender at once; it will keep a month or so in the refrigerator, too, so there’s no need to be making it at the last minute.

Italian Chopped Salad

24 Servings

1 head iceberg lettuce
2 heads romaine lettuce
3 cups spring mix
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups crumbled gorgonzola
1 cup precooked crumbled bacon
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3 avocados, chopped

1/3 batch Restaurant Style Italian Salad Dressing (recipe below)
  1. Finely chop the three lettuces and place them in a salad spinner.

  2. Spin the lettuces together to remove all of the water, then transfer the lettuce to a large salad bowl.

  3. Stir in the tomatoes, Gorgonzola, bacon, and red onion; toss.

  4. Mix a little of the salad dressing with the chopped avocados, add them to the salad along with enough of the remaining dressing (you may not need all of it) and serve.

Amount Per Serving (without dressing)
Calories 158 Calories from Fat 106
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 67% Protein 15% Carb. 18%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 11 mg
Sodium 494 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 6 g

Vitamin A 27% Vitamin C 22% Calcium 0% Iron 5%

Restaurant Style Italian Salad Dressing

36 Servings of about 2 tablespoons each

1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3/4 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, (cardboard – the kind in the green box - is okay for this)
1 package (2 ounce) dry pectin
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients in blender container and blend for at least 30 seconds. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 112 Calories from Fat 85
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 76% Protein 2% Carb. 23%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 1 mg
Sodium 412 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 0 g

Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 2%

Purchase a Kyocera Ceramic Knife Set from Amazon
Purchase a Kyocera Ceramic Slicing Knife from Amazon
Purchase an OXO Lettuce Knife from Amazon
Purchase a Zyliss Fresh-Cut Salad Knife from Amazon
Purchase an OXO salad spinner from Amazon
Purchase a MIU String Pull Salad Spinner from Amazon

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This content was written by Karen Hancock. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Karen Hancock for details.