You can probably tell which pictures I take right before we are about to eat dinner and the ones that I have some time to take in the morning or on a Saturday afternoon. This is obviously a dinnertime picture…so sorry. But you probably know what an Olive Garden Salad looks like, right? Well, if not…this is it…
There are a few things at Olive Garden worth going for (for me at least.) The Spinach Artichoke Dip, Toscana Soup, Tiramisu and finally this salad. I’m not a big fan of their entrees, but I am very happy living off the periphery.
Whenever we go out to eat(which isn’t that often,) we have found that Taylor will devour a salad. Yet, when we have salads at home we struggle to get her to eat a single bite. She will pick out the olives and the cucumbers and eat those, but she will fight us on eating the greens. So, I finally asked her if I made a version of the restaurant salads would she eat them and she nodded her head. I wasn’t completely convinced, but I figured I would try one out. She also loves Carrabba’s House dressing and a little restaurant here in town’s Italian dressing. I have made salad dressings at home, but I guess they weren’t what she was looking for.
So when I saw this dressing last week on Six Sister’s Stuff , I decided I would try it out. I have seen other versions of this recipe but there is an ingredient in it that I never seem to have so I always skipped over it (I think it’s some type of gelatin.) This recipe didn’t have that and I actually had everything on hand.
The recipe is more white than the version that you will have at Olive Garden but it does taste very similar and we liked it a whole lot. I actually thought it was somewhat similar to Carrabba’s House dressing. The part of this story that was extra special is that Taylor has been eating her salads at home again this week..no struggles and no arguments. I even lightened it up a bit by using light mayo. The only thing I might change next time is to just add a bit less vinegar and lemon juice up front. Then as I taste I will add in more as needed. I’m not sure if I measured incorrectly but it seemed like there was a tad too much, so I ended up adding more parm and a little olive oil. Still, I love this dressing and have been enjoying my salads all week along with Taylor.
If you want to make the rest of the salad authentic, make sure you slice up some red onion. Add some pepperoncini, large black olives, sliced tomato and croutons….also chill your salad covered in the fridge for an hour or so if you have the time. Throw your salad bowls in there too. Then, have some freshly grated parm to top it with.
So, if you love Olive Garden’s salad and would like to try a version that is pretty darn close, give this one a try. Your kids will love you for it!
- ½ C. Mayonnaise (I used light)
- ⅓ C. White Vinegar
- 1 tsp. Vegetable Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Corn Syrup
- 2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Tbsp. Romano Cheese (I used all parm only because that is what I had on hand)
- ¼ tsp. Garlic Salt - or one clove garlic minced
- ½ tsp. Italian Seasoning
- ½ tsp. Parsley Flakes
- 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
- Mix all ingredients thoroughly and toss over your salad. Add freshly grated parm and black pepper.