Monday, March 14, 2016

Portillo's Chopped Salad...Possibilities of Spring

We are finally starting to see the early signs of spring...I hope!!)  These sweet little buds showed up near our driveway last week on all the bushes.  Unfortunately I made the mistake of looking at the weather forecast for this upcoming week...rain and snow.  So, true to Colorado weather, we truly never know what is going to show up.  Oh well, "spring" was nice while it lasted this weekend.

Since we were enjoying our short stint of sunny spring weather, we decided to grill a flatiron steak and enjoy a fresh salad.  Portillo's was one of our favorite road trip dinner stops in California.  The restaurant was about an hour from our house and it was perfect for the last stop before heading home after a long day on the road with family and not wanting to make dinner upon arrival.

It's a super easy and very flavorful salad, full of color and textures.  In my opinion, there's nothing like a great chopped salad. Even though they take more time to prepare, I just love all the small delicious bites. This salad would be perfect to serve if you are hosting an upcoming Easter brunch or even a summer backyard BBQ...when the snow finally melts that is.

Portillo's Copycat Chopped Salad
Serves 10 to 12

Dressing: **
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

4 cups, cooked, drained and cooled, Ditalini pasta (cook according to package directions)
3 cups iceberg lettuce, chopped
3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
2 cups red cabbage, chopped
4 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup green onions, finely diced
2 cups cooked chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 4 ounce container Gorgonzola cheese crumbles

For the dressing, whisk all ingredients (or you can use a salad dressing shaker or blender) and set in refrigerator to fuse. ** I recommend to double the dressing, as it is a very large salad or you can always decrease the salad portion by half also though.

While the dressing is chilling, to assemble the salad, in a very large bowl, add all of the salad ingredients and toss well.  Shake dressing vigorously and drizzle all over the salad and toss again to incorporate.

Enjoy and Keep Those Sunny Spring Thoughts!!

One Year Ago: Luck of The Irish Cupcakes
Two Years Ago: Simply Salmon with Shrimp Tortellini

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