Oddly enough there aren't too many good Italian-American restaurants on the side of town J and I live. Luckily, Maggiano's is one of the few. You can get good food (and a lot of it) for a nice price. Especially since they give you a 'to-go' pasta for free when you order a pasta at the restaurant.
One of my favorite things to order there is their Chopped Salad. I love the ingredients in the salad, but I most especially love the dressing. My mom has recreated the chopped salad a few times at family dinners, but I decided to do so for lunch the other day.
A salad is as complicated as you want to make it, and, honestly, this one wasn't at all. The only "heavy duty" prepping I needed to do was chopping the ingredients and blending together the dressing ingredients. I stored the dressing and the actual salad in two separate containers so that I could continue to eat on it a few days without everything getting soggy and mushy. It tasted just like the restaurants and can't wait to munch on it again.
Copycat Maggiano's Chopped Salad
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 romaine hearts, chopped
- 1 (10.5 oz) container cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 5 oz crumbled gorgonzola cheese (or blue cheese)
- 3 oz prosciutto, pan fried till crispy and chopped
- 1 large avocado, chopped
1. For the dressing, blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smoother. *Can be stored in an air-tight container for up to a week.*
2. To crips the prosciutto, place it in a pan over medium high heat for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side until crisp. Remove from heat and let sit for 2 minutes. Slice/ break into pieces.
3. For the salad, toss the lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, prosciutto and avocados together in a large bowl. Pour dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately.