OLIVE GARDEN GARDEN FRESH SALAD & SALAD DRESSING

One of the most popular items at America’s largest Italian restaurant chain is the bottomless garden salad tossed with the chain’s delicious vinaigrette dressing. I hacked the dressing years ago in my first restaurant clones book, but I’ve recently discovered a new way to make the dressing, with perfect color and flavor, and it’s nothing like any copycat recipe for this dressing that you’ll find anywhere else. One of the special ingredients in this new take is Egg Beaters, which adds the same yellow color contributed by annatto as in the Olive Garden original. Egg Beaters also adds flavor with a variety of spices, plus xanthan gum, a vegetable-based gel, to help thicken the mix. And don’t worry about using raw Egg Beaters in your dressing since it’s made with pasteurized egg whites, so it’s completely safe. I’ve cloned the Olive Garden dressing before, but the Garden Fresh Salad recipe here to go with your dressing is a first-time hack.

SALAD DRESSING
⅓ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup grated Romano cheese
3 tablespoons Egg Beaters (original)
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning herb blend
¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

SALAD
8 cups hand-torn iceberg lettuce
4 cups hand-torn romaine lettuce
½ cup thinly sliced red cabbage
12 Roma tomato slices
8 pickled golden pepperoncini peppers
8 canned whole jumbo black olives
2 red onion slices, separated
¼ cup shredded carrot
1 cup Italian-style croutons

OPTIONAL
Freshly shredded Parmesan cheese


Cooking method

1-Make the salad dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Chill the dressing until it’s needed.

2-Build the salad by combining all of the salad ingredients, except for the croutons, in a large salad bowl. Add about half of the dressing and toss. Save the rest of the dressing in a covered container in your refrigerator for another salad. Sprinkle the croutons over the top of the salad. Serve the salad with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.

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