I don’t know many shows on the Food Network but my sister got me interested in The Sandwich King. She knows my obsession with yummy, gourmet sandwiches and this show is right up my alley. I was perusing his website the other day and I saw this recipe for an Italian Chopped Salad. I thought it was funny because it wasn’t a sandwich but the idea of the salad seemed intriguing to me. I have never made a part lettuce, part pasta salad before and so I wanted to give this a try. I had some ladies over for lunch and this salad was a big hit! It was so full of amazing flavor. The crunchy-saltiness of the bacon with the smooth gorgonzola cheese all topped with the Sweet Italian dressing made for a great combination!! This will be a salad I bring to many future family events. It makes a lot so if you are only serving this as a side dish salad you may want to half the recipe. However, the salad was even great the next day as leftovers, just hold the croutons and keep them on the side so you’re not eating soggy croutons. This salad is a 10 in my book and a over-all healthy option for a quick, weeknight dinner (use turkey bacon and whole wheat pasta to boost the nutrient level :).


Italian Chopped Salad
Ingredients
  1. 12 oz. small noodle pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
  2. 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  3. 1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  4. 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  5. 1/2 red onion, minced
  6. 2 tomatoes, diced
  7. 1 cup croutons
Sweet Italian Dressing
  1. 3 tsp. dry Italian dressing seasoning
  2. 1/4 cup honey
  3. 1 cup red vinegar
  4. 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  5. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 3/4 cup olive oil
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Instructions
  1. For the dressing: Place the vinegar, honey, Italian sesaoning mix, garlic and same salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle the olive oil until the dressing is combined and emulsified. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, or add more oil if you want it less acidic.
  2. For the salad: Cook the pasta until tender and then drain and let cool for a few minutes while preparing the salad. Cook the bacon in a pan until crisp and golden brown. Drain the bacon on a paper towel until it cools and then chop into smaller pieces. Cut the romaine lettuce into bite sized pieces and place in a a large salad bowl. Cut the red onions into small pieces as well. Cut the tomatoes into bite sized pieces. To the lettuce, add the crumbled bacon, pasta, red onions, gorgonzola cheese and croutons.Add the croutons. Drizzle the dressing on the salad and toss together until all is well coated. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  3. Heavily adapted from The Sandwich King
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