This salad is jam packed with some of my very favorite salad ingredients! I remember as a kid getting pizza at some local pizza places and always asking my mom if she would order the “anti pasta salad” well this is my version of that salad but jacked up! I was making Baked Ziti for a friend the other day and needed to think of something to go with it. This salad came to mind! One of my favorite additions to this salad is the Diamond Pine Nuts toasted! Pine nuts are a favorite of my husbands so I like to find any excuse to put them in recipes! Especially if they are toasted! Brings out their amazing flavor!
This salad can be as simple or as complex as you would like! Add a little more of something you like more, add a little less of something that is new to you or that you know only a few people eating enjoy, or leave things out! This recipe is all of my favorites but can totally be altered to your liking. If you are more adventurous…throw in all ingredients! Give something new a try! Below is all the ingredients I used…plus some grape tomatoes that didn’t actually make it into the pictures but did when I served it to my family!
Loaded Italian Salad
3 heads Romain lettuce, washed and diced
1/3 purple onion, thinly sliced
6-12 peperoncini peppers (I serve 1-2 per person)
small can of black olives, sliced
12-15 green olives, sliced
10 slices of pepperoni, thinly sliced
8-10 slices salami, thinly sliced
jar of artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
1/2 of container of grape tomatoes
6-8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
Combine all ingredients. Sprinkle with pine nuts and cheese and then toss with Italian salad dressing.
*To toast pine nuts: heat up skillet and place pine nuts in there and continually move around pan making sure that the pine nuts don’t burn. They will toast fairly quickly once the pan heats up.