I LOVE Portillo’s Chopped Salad and was pleasantly surprised by my own copycat side salad version for a casual dinner we hosted. Serves six as a side salad, or more as an addition to a party spread.
Sweet Italian House Dressing
This dressing recipe is based on one I originally found online by Dennis Cottini of Glenview in the Chicago Sun Times (whose link is no longer available). As I’ve made this salad over the years, this is what the dressing has become when I make it for my family.
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6 spoonfuls of minced garlic (or about 6 cloves minced)
3 teaspoons of sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
Combine dressing ingredients in a high power blender and blend until creamy.
Copycat Portillo’s Chopped Salad
4 cups cooked Ditalini pasta
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
2-1/2 cups chopped red cabbage
2 fresh tomatoes (diced)
1 cup diced green onions
1 cup chopped bacon (I used Turkey Bacon)
4 oz. gorgonzola cheese (you could add up to 8 oz. if you REALLY like gorgonzola)
Sweet Italian Dressing to taste (recipe above)
1. Cook Ditalini pasta according to package instructions. Cool and set aside.
2. Put romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce and red cabbage in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
3. Combine romaine, iceberg, red cabbage, tomatoes and green onions in large salad bowl.
4. Cook bacon according to package instructions.
5. Add cooled pasta, bacon and gorgonzola cheese to salad.
6. Add dressing (to taste) before serving. Toss & enjoy!