This is one of our favorite Italian salads, which features a number of the things we grow in our home gardens.
No special culinary equipment is needed to prepare this wonderful Italian salad and Vinaigrette.
For the Vinaigrette Salad Dressing:
We like a tart vinaigrette that has a little more vinegar/lemon taste; however, you can reduce the lemon or vinegar, or even increase the Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, if you prefer a vinaigrette that is less tart.
½ tablespoons of Red-Wine Vinegar
2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
½ teaspoons of Dijon Mustard
½ teaspoon of Salt
"Smidgen" of Cayenne Pepper
"Pinch" of White Pepper
½ teaspoon of Balsamic Vinegar
⅛ teaspoon of Dill Weed
½ tablespoons of Lemon Juice
1 cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
For the Base Salad:
1 large Tomato, finely sliced
1 tablespoon of Blue Cheese, crumbled
3 Green Onions, finely chop the entire green onion including the green scallion
1 ball of Mozzarella Cheese, thinly sliced (approximately ¾ of a pound in total)
15 leaves small to medium-sized of Basil, chopped into thin strips
½ of a medium-sized White Onion, finely chopped
8-12 Kalamata Olives, finely chopped
1 ½ tablespoon of Pepperoncini, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of Artichoke Hearts, finely chopped
1 ½ tablespoons of Pesto Sauce (please see our separate recipe for Pesto Sauce, by clicking here)
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
For the Italian Salad’s Second-layer Topping:
8-10 ounces of Arugula
8-10 baby Grape Tomatoes
4 Green Onions, chopped
10 small-to-medium Basil leaves, chopped
1-1 ½ tablespoons of Vinaigrette Salad Dressing, to taste
To Prepare the Vinaigrette Salad Dressing:
Excluding the Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, mix all the remaining ingredients well; if you have a salad dressing carafe, use that, and shake well. If you do not have a carafe, use a bowl, and whisk the ingredients together. Once the ingredients are mixed thoroughly, add the olive oil slowly and mix it in by shaking or whisking it slowly until it is fully integrated.
To Prepare the Italian Salad:
Once all the ingredients are sliced/chopped, begin to layer them onto a plate. Then, in a separate bowl for the second-layer topping, combine the arugula, tomatoes, green onions and refrigerate. Just before serving, mix the Vinaigrette Salad Dressing in with arugula, tomatoes, basil, and green onions. Spoon the salad mixture over base salad and serve.