I call this an Italian salad because the dressing is more like an Italian dressing than not. I hope that makes sense. Of course it does to me, but sometimes my thinking is a bit off as I’m sure you have already perceived if you are familiar with my writing and recipes. Plus, I just couldn’t think of any other name for this combination of ingredients.
It all started because I thought I wanted to prepare a Panzanella Salad (Tuscan Bread Salad) for an Italian themed pre-concert supper I was preparing last Sunday. But when I realized that the three pastas I was serving plus the sourdough bread contained more than enough flour already, I decided a simple mixed salad with a kind of toned down “panzanella like” dressing would be perfect. Thus this recipe. BTW, if you love Panzanella Salad, please try my recipe already on this site.
And of course in my haste to get all the food set out for our guests, I failed to take a picture of this salad. But then, you all know what salad looks like. So you will simply have to use your imagination. (I can already hear those synapses (tiny gaps across your nerve cells or neurons sending impulses to other neurons causing your mind to be focused and electric) synapsing. In other words, I’m actually doing you a favor by not posting a picture of this salad. Proof once again that my thinking may be a bit off!)
Regardless, this is a really good salad and I hope you prepare it in the near future.
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ c. fresh parsley, loosely packed, then finely chopped
- 2 T. red wine vinegar
- juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ c. mayonnaise
- ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped into bite sized pieces
- ½ head iceberg lettuce, chopped into bite sized pieces
- ½ c. halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- ¼ red onion, very thinly sliced
- ½ English cucumber partially peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
Whisk the sugar, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, parsley, vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and olive oil together. Set aside or refrigerate.
Place the romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, and yellow bell pepper in a large salad bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat the lettuce leaves.
Optional ingredients: Kalamata olives, thinly sliced pepperoncini, carrot, celery, basil, salami, cheese, etc. etc.