Italian Salad

This Italian salad, made with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, olives, pepperoncini, Parmesan, and a creamy vinaigrette dressing, is just like the one at your favorite Italian restaurant. Actually, it’s better.

Two white plates of Italian salad made with iceberg, tomatoes, red onion, and Parmesan.

This Italian restaurant salad is an exact replica of the classic you’ve experienced when out for dinner or on that hoagie from your neighborhood Italian deli that you never thought you could recreate at home.–Angie Zoobkoff

Italian Restaurant Salad

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • Serves 6
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Pour the creamy Italian salad dressing into a large serving bowl.

Add the lettuce, celery, onion, cherry tomatoes, olives, pepperoncini, and Parmesan, and toss to combine.

Serve immediately.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

The mix of oils, the dry oregano, the red wine vinegar, the mayonnaise for emulsification—these are all keys to recreating a classic Italian restaurant dressing. It took me back not only to salads of my youth but also to the dressing on an Italian hoagie. The crunch of iceberg, the old standard that’s been spurned for more cosmopolitan greens, holds up to this robust vinaigrette like a dancer reunited with an old partner.

I had only one quibble with the recipe and that was that the amount of chopped lettuce was too much for my largest bowl. I had to serve some of the salad onto plates before being able to incorporate the last of the lettuce into the bowl.

Sometimes I forget how much I actually enjoy the unrefined, watery crunch of Iceberg lettuce! This is a great basic old-school style salad for when you're craving a punch of flavor. I grew up in NJ and it tastes exactly like something we would have gotten at Patsy's Tavern in Patterson. I figured my basic-eater kids and husband would be all over this, and I was right!

The 1 teaspoon salt that I used to make the garlic paste was sufficient for a good level of seasoning for the end result—it didn't really need more.


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