Flavorful antipasto ingredients come together in this Italian-inspired salad. This dish comes together easily once you’ve prepared the sun dried tomatoes. Bottled or dry will work in a pinch, but for the authentic taste of Tuscan sunshine, bake them slowly for two hours in your oven. The recipe calls for a sweet Italian dressing by Executive Chef Jim Cox that I highly recommend, but if you can’t find it make my Sweet Italian Balsamic Vinegar Dressing. Ingredient amounts will serve 4 as a side salad or 2 as a meal salad.
Sun Dried Tomatoes
2 Roma tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
Dash of kosher salt
Dash of fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cups of a baguette cut into cubes
1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
Salad and Dressing
1 red bell pepper roasted, peeled and diced
6 cups of mixed greens washed and patted dry
1 – 7 oz. can of artichokes drained and cut into quarters
3 tablespoons of black olives sliced
1/2 cup of Executive Chef Jim Cox Sweet Italian Dressing or use Sweet Italian Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
Cut tomatoes into wedges, place into large bowl and toss with oil, salt and pepper. Pour all contents onto a cookie sheet and place into a preheated oven at 250 degrees for 2 hours or until semi wilted and slightly browned on the edges. Set aside.
Cut baguette into small uniform pieces. Place in a medium sized mixing bowl and add olive oil and Italian seasoning. Toss to evenly coated and place evenly on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
Cut the red pepper into thirds and remove seeds and some of the pulp from the inside of the pepper. Flatten pepper as much as possible. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil or coated with non-stick cooking spray. Broil on high for about 15 minutes or until mostly blackened. Check frequently. Allow to cool. No need to place in a bag. Once cooled remove skin, but do not run under water to remove the blackened skin, because it will compromise the flavor. Chop and set aside.
Wash and pat the lettuce dry and place in a large bowl. Cut the artichokes into quarters and slice the black olives. Add all of the salad ingredients to the bowl and toss with the dressing to evenly coat salad. Place onto a large platter, add sun dried tomatoes and serve.