Italian Salad

Toss to combine.
Italian salad with fresh and canned veggies.
Italian salad featuring fresh and canned veggies.
Here's a closer look.
Here’s a closer look.

I’m not sure where the recipe (or maybe just the idea) for this salad originally came from, but I do remember it on the table at nearly every family gathering held at my great aunt’s house. At some point it was christened “Italian salad” and the name stuck.

The ingredients: garbanzo beans, olives, artichokes, Good Season salad dressing and broccoli (+ cauliflower for a large batch).
The ingredients: garbanzo beans, olives, artichokes, Good Seasons salad dressing and broccoli (+ cauliflower for a large batch).

It’s a simple salad featuring broccoli, cauliflower, black olives, artichoke hearts and chickpeas doused in Good Seasons Italian dressing. And just like my grandma’s lasagna, you’ll end up with way more than you can eat at once, but that’s fine because it tastes better the next day!

(To keep the leftovers in check, though, here I left out the cauliflower and simply used a large bunch of broccoli.)

Italian Salad

Serves 8-10 as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 1 batch of Good Seasons Italian dressing, prepared (may need more depending on amount of broccoli/cauliflower)
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can black olives, drained
  • 1 12-oz jar marinated, quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 15-oz can Italian green beans (the flat kind), drained*

Steps

  1. Prepare the Good Seasons salad dressing as directed, in a cruet or jar with a tight-fitting lid. I used half red wine and half balsamic vinegars, and half olive and half canola oils. Set aside.

    I make my Good Seasons with half red wine vinegar and half balsamic vinegar.
    I make my Good Seasons with half red wine vinegar and half balsamic vinegar.
  2. Wash the broccoli and cauliflower and cut into florets. Add to a large bowl.
    Chop the broccoli (and cauliflower) into florets.
    Chop the broccoli (and cauliflower) into florets.

    This recipe filled my 4-quart Pyrex bowl maybe 2/3 full, without using the cauliflower.
    This recipe filled my 4-quart Pyrex bowl maybe 2/3 full, without using the cauliflower.
  3. Drain the chickpeas in a strainer or colander and rinse well. Add to the bowl. Drain the olives (rinse if desired) and add them to the bowl.
    Olive descriptors always throw me off--these were the "jumbo" variety, so I cut them in half. I think my family typically uses "large."
    Olive adjectives always throw me off–these were the “jumbo” variety, so I cut them in half. I think my family typically uses “large.”

    Add the olives.
    Add the olives…
  4. Drain the artichokes and add them to the bowl.

    ...and the artichokes...
    …and the artichokes…
  5. Shake the dressing and pour it over top of the ingredients in the bowl. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour before serving to meld the flavors.
    ...and then pour the dressing over the whole thing.
    …and then pour the dressing over the whole thing.

    Toss to combine.
    Toss to combine.

I love this combination of fresh veggies with the salty olives, acidic artichokes and vinegary dressing. It’s an easy, simple side dish that reminds me of Sunday meals with my family. Enjoy!

*Edit: When I made the original post, I forgot that this salad usually has Italian green beans in it also! The green beans were added to the ingredients list. But, the great thing about this recipe is that it’s adaptable. Don’t like a component? Leave it out. Cooking for a crowd? Add more broccoli/beans/dressing/etc. as needed. My mom even made this into a pasta salad once. It’s a family recipe, but we don’t consider it a “sacred” one!

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