Monday, May 23, 2016

Copycat Maggianos Chopped Salad

Y'all, I am beyond excited about this recipe.  It crossed my path last week and I've been dreaming of it and drooling over it ever since I saw the picture.  It was literally only a day before I made it and I started asking myself why I didn't make it before then.

Yes, it's that good!

Now I know some of you are probably thinking a salad, really?  How in the world is that drool-worthy?  Well, my friends, it is.  Even if you aren't a salad person, this is definitely one that will have you thinking twice about refusing to eat a salad as a main course.
Now, I must admit, I've never been to a Maggianos restaurant nor have I ever heard of it before now.  But, I have to give a HUGE thanks to Jessica, The Novice Chef, not only for introducing me to this restaurant but for sharing this incredible salad.
I've never had a salad I don't like, but there are some ingredients that make that cool, crispy dish irresistible to me.  Some of those items on that laundry list of ingredients is blue cheese, bacon and avocado.  And you know what?  This salad had them all.

This salad is made up of basic ingredients you probably already have in the fridge and that you would most likely see on a salad bar.  But the magic is truly in the dressing.  This dressing is oh-mah-goodness, life changing-ly amazing.

A crispy bed of cold lettuce it topped with fresh chopped tomatoes, buttery avocado, salty bacon and creamy, blue cheese.  And that vinaigrette, well it adds the perfect  coating for all these ingredients that truly ties them all together.
This salad is delicious, comes together in about 30 minutes and can be multiplied to feed a large crowd.  It's great for an appetizer, side and even a main course.  The best part, it comes together in under 30 minutes.

This is my new favorite salad and as soon as you try it, it will be yours too!

Copycat Maggianos Chopped Salad
Ingredients:

For the dressing-

1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tsp dry mustard
1/2 Tsp black pepper
1/2 Tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 Tsp dried oregano
1/4 Tsp salt
1 Clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp water
1/3 Cup canola oil
1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 Cup shredded parmesan cheese

For the salad-
3 Romaine hearts, chopped
1 (10.5 oz) Container cherry tomatoes, chopped
5 Oz crumbled blue cheese*
5 Slices bacon, cooked and crumbled*
1 Large avocado, chopped

Directions:

For the dressing-
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve, for up to a week.

For the salad-
Place lettuce, tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon and avocados in a large bowl and toss.  Drizzle dressed, to taste, over the top and toss to coat.  Serve immediately.

Notes-
*Proscuitto can be used in place of bacon.  Simply place in a frying pan and fry on each side for 30 seconds, remove and drain on a paper towel then chop coarsely.
*Gorgonzola can be used in place of blue cheese
*If making in advance, toss the avocados in a liberal amount of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
*If making in advance, place the bed of greens in a large bowl and place ingredients in rows.  When ready to serve, add dressing and toss to combine.

Recipe source: The Novice Chef

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