New Orleans-Style Italian Salad

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 24 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 24 hr
  • Yield: 6 side salads
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Ingredients

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced

Scant teaspoon Emeril's Italian Essence or other dried Italian herbs

Scant teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

6 cups crisp lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (romaine and iceberg are traditional)

1 large ripe tomato, cut into wedges 

2 cups Italian Olive Salad, recipe follows, or store-bought Italian olive salad

8 large boiled shrimp, peeled and coarsely chopped, optional

1/2 bunch asparagus, blanched until crisp-tender, chilled

12 flat anchovies

1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Italian Olive Salad:

1 quart large pimiento-stuffed green olives, drained and slightly crushed

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 1/2 cups large Greek black olives, drained and pitted

1/4 teaspoon celery seeds

1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 cup pickled cauliflower, drained

1/4 bunch celery, sliced diagonally

2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally

1/2 cup pepperoncini, drained and left whole

1/3 cup cocktail onions, drained

1/4 cup small capers, drained

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning 

Directions

  1. In a large salad bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, Italian Essence, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Add the lettuces, tomato, and Olive Salad, and toss to thoroughly combine. Season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Divide the salad evenly among 6 salad plates and garnish each plate with some of the shrimp, if using, and asparagus. Top each salad with 2 anchovies and some of the grated cheese. Serve immediately.

Italian Olive Salad:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large nonreactive bowl and mix well. Place in a nonreactive jar (preferably glass) and store tightly covered in the refrigerator. The salad should be made at least 24 hours before using and only improves with age; it can keep for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.