The Classic Italian Salad

Could it be any more exciting that spring is here and summer is just around the corner? Aside from warmer weather, one of the things that I’m most excited for is fresh fruit and vegetables and farmer’s markets. You see, I’m the type of girl that likes to have a small salad with every meal. And if I’m not having a small salad it’s because I’m making a big salad for that meal. And while I’m all for a giant salad that is dancing with flavors, sometimes it’s nice to take it back to the basics.

This brings me to today’s salad recipe featuring a few classic ingredients that come together to form the perfect side salad for any meal. So let me take a minute to break down the basics of this salad: •Baby Spring Mix: I love the nutrients and flavors that come from a fresh baby spring mix. Typically with a spring mix you’ll get spinach, arugula and romaine which are all healthy and delicious. •Additional Veggies: Go ahead and layer on the classics such as cucumbers, peppers and my favorite, NatureSweet® Cherubs®. These are probably my favorite salad tomato and they always come perfectly ripe. I’m so addicted to them, I will eat them like grapes. •Meat and Cheese: Even with a side salad you have to include a little meat and cheese. I like using diced prosciutto instead of bacon bits because they provide a more complex flavor and a good, hard cheese such as Romano. •Crunchy Topping: You cannot forget this! I love croutons but there are a lot of other options available these days. Fresh Gourmet® offers a great line of croutons and other crunchy additives such as tortilla or wonton strips and fruit or nut toppings. •Dressing: Here’s where it all comes together! The dressing is the most important part of bringing the flavors of your simple salad together. Obviously I’m partial to Litehouse® dressings, they offer a wide variety of creamy or vinaigrette flavors. I chose the Red Wine Olive Oil Vinaigrette to finish off this classic Italian salad.

 For such a classic salad there seem to be a lot of parts! But one of the best things about a salad is that the sky is the limit when it comes to toppings. Be adventurous and try some new things like crispy onions or a new color of tomato. Feel free to chime in below with some of your favorite salad toppings! 

Classic Italian Salad

Serves 4 | Finish in 15 minutes
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Take your side salad up a notch with this Classic Italian Side Salad.

Ingredients

4 cups baby spring mix,
1 cup sliced cucumbers,
1 cup NatureSweet® Cherubs® Tomatoes,
1 cup Fresh Gourmet® Butter and Garlic Croutons,
¼ cup shredded Romano Cheese,
1/3 cup diced prosciutto,
Litehouse® Red Wine Olive Oil Vinaigrette or Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Directions

Divide spring mix evenly between 4 bowls. Top each salad with cucumbers and tomatoes. Divide the croutons, Romano Cheese and prosciutto between each of the bowl to top the salad. Drizzle with dressing and serve.


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