When I was growing up, we used to always go to a local Italian restaurant called Provino’s. They’re still open today in a couple locations around Atlanta and they serve some of the best salad and garlic rolls before your dinner. They’re so good that it can be hard to save room for dinner! This salad is less like a traditional Italian salad and has more of a Greek or Mediterranean feel. This is my homemade rendition of their salad.
This salad and dressing is really easy to make and you can tweak it to your tastes. If you prefer more of a Greek style, you may add feta instead of mozzarella, and if you want some more veggies, you can also add a diced bell pepper as well.
The dressing for this salad is a lemon vinaigrette and is very light and tasty. Beware, this dressing isn’t emulsified so it will try to separate. It helps if you have a dressing mixer that will make it easier to mix and pour the dressing like above.
One of the best flavor elements of this salad is the veggies get to marinate in some of the dressing ahead of serving. This lets the veggies soak up the flavor and the acidity from the dressing gives the cucumbers and onions a quick pickle flavor.
One thing that’s great about this salad is you can make it hours ahead and the veggies will get some extra time to marinate. All you need to do is pull it out of the refrigerator and toss really quick before serving which can be helpful if you need to focus on cooking a main dish.
This salad is really good and can go with a lot of meals. We typically eat this with Italian dishes at our house or add some protein and eat it as a meal.
Makes enough for 4-6 as a side or appetizer
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- Head of romaine
- 1 cucumber thinly sliced
- 1 large tomato or 2 to 3 Roma tomatoes, diced and seeded
- Half of large red onion, thinly sliced
- Half a can of chick peas, rinsed
- Feta (could use mozzarella to make Italian)
- 10 Kalamata olives, chopped (or more to your liking)
- 10 sliced pickled banana peppers (or more to your liking)
- Bell pepper, chopped (optional)
- Wash the lettuce and pat dry
- Cut the red onion in thin long slices
- Cut the cucumber in thin chip slices
- Dice the tomatoes and discard any seeds
- Put all the chopped vegetables, chick peas, olives, and banana peppers at the bottom of big salad bowl and set aside
- Add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and spices into a bowl and mix together
- Pour about a third of the dressing over the veggies and stir everything together
- Shred the lettuce and add on top of the veggies.l
- Add a handful of cheese sprinkled over the top of the bowl
- Put the slake and dressing in the refrigerator and let marinate undisturbed for at least a 1/2 hour. You can make this a few hours ahead of your meal as well.
- Remove from the refrigerator and toss the salad throughly.
- Shake the dressing thoroughly and add more dressing to your tastes, toss again, and serve. Garnish with extra cheese.