This super yummy and healthy summertime salad has bold Mediterranean flavors and a quick balsamic dressing! Perfect for a lighter main dish or a refreshing side!
I am absolutely plastered in big red bumps. I’m talking about my skin. I have red bumps. And they are big and red because I have been scratching them like crazy. Apparently mosquito season is in full swing around here.
The bugs really get bad at night around our house and we’re pretty sure it has a lot, if not everything, to do with the marsh that is about 5 minutes away. The closer you get to the swampy area, the worse the bugs get, and the more mosquito bites you wake up with the next day. Or at least that would be the case if you were a normal human being like me. My husband hasn’t gotten a single bite. I have 17 on my arms alone. What is going on here?? My mother always said that if you get a lot of mosquito bites, it’s because you’re so sweet. But I chalk that up to her explanation that my freckles are actually angel kisses.
Yes, I have freckles, and I’ve hated them since I was little. They’re mostly across my nose, which I guess makes sense since I inherited my mother’s little nose. She is the one with Irish blood. She has light hair, fair skin, freckles galore, and a fiery temper. I really don’t know if that last characteristic has anything to do with Irish blood but she does have a fiery temper. My mother though, she has freckles from head to toe and like I said, I just have them across my little Irish nose. The rest of my features came from my dad’s Italian blood. I tan easily, I have dark hair and I got skipped on the larger nose gene that my three oldest sisters definitely got.
And on the Italian note, let’s talk about this Mediterranean style salad. This is the first time I’ve ever used mozzarella pearls and I can’t decide if I love them so much because they actually taste 50 billion times better, or because they have that adorable factor. Probably a little of both. If you can get some of the pearls, all the better, but don’t go out of your way because shredded or shaved mozz will do just fine and you will looooove this salad regardless of the shape of the cheese, promise.
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 14 ounces artichoke hearts, diced
- 15 ounces roasted red peppers, drained and diced
- ½ cup greek kalamata olives, halved
- ¼ cup pepperocini peppers or banana peppers, chopped
- ½ red onion, diced
- ½ cup mozzarella pearls or shaved mozzarella
- ⅓ cup diced ham
- ⅓ cup diced hard salami
- 1 cup balsamic salad dressing OR recipe shown below
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt & pepper to taste
- Toss together chopped romaine lettuce and next 8 ingredients.
- If using dressing recipe, add all dressing ingredients to a blender and pulse until smooth. Chill until ready to serve. Drizzle over salad immediately before serving.Garnish with fresh basil if desired.