Last Updated on January 11, 2024
Lou Malnati’s salad recipe is an Italian-style salad that is packed with flavor. It’s a great way to add a unique spin on a classic salad. It’s easy to make and great for a light lunch or dinner. This salad can be served with a variety of accompaniments and is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.
What is Lou Malnati’s Salad?
Headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is an American restaurant chain specializing in Chicago-style pizza. Founded by the son of Rudy Malnati, a key figure in developing the recipe for Chicago-style pizza, it has emerged as one of the most well-known local pizza restaurant chains in the Chicago area.
One of their most popular items is the Lou Malnati’s salad recipe which is a classic Italian-style salad made with a variety of fresh vegetables, cured meats, and cheese. It is simple to make and full of flavor.
The main ingredients in this salad are tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, olives, salami, and mozzarella cheese. The salad is then dressed with a light and flavorful vinaigrette.
What Does it Taste Like?
Lou Malnati’s salad recipe has a bright and flavorful taste. The tomatoes and cucumbers give the salad a fresh and crunchy texture, while the cured meats and cheese add a salty and savory flavor.
The vinaigrette adds a tangy, acidic flavor that balances out the flavors of the salad.
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- Sugar: The sugar in the dressing serves to balance the acidity from the white wine vinegar and adds a touch of sweetness to the overall flavor profile of the salad.
- White wine vinegar: White wine vinegar provides acidity to the dressing, enhancing the overall taste and helping to cut through the richness of other ingredients. It also contributes a subtle fruity flavor.
- Virgin olive oil (approximately 2 tbsp + 2 tsp): Extra virgin olive oil is a key component of the salad dressing, adding richness and a smooth texture. It also imparts a distinctive, fruity flavor that complements the other ingredients.
- Parmesan cheese: Parmesan cheese contributes a savory and salty flavor to the salad, enhancing its overall taste. The umami quality of Parmesan adds depth to the dressing.
- Italian seasoning: This blend of dried herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary adds a Mediterranean flair to the salad, bringing a mix of aromatic and savory notes.
- Garlic powder: Garlic powder imparts a subtle garlic flavor to the dressing, enhancing the overall savory profile of the salad without being overpowering.
- Kosher salt: Salt is a crucial element in balancing flavors. It enhances the natural taste of the ingredients and helps bring out the various flavors in the salad.
- Salami, sliced: Salami adds a savory and slightly spicy element to the salad. Its rich, meaty flavor complements the freshness of the vegetables.
- Large head romaine lettuce, chopped: Romaine lettuce serves as the base of the salad, providing a crisp and refreshing texture. It also offers a mild, slightly bitter flavor.
- Grape tomatoes: Grape tomatoes contribute sweetness and a burst of juicy freshness to the salad. They add color and a pleasant contrast in texture.
- Fresh mushrooms, sliced: Mushrooms provide an earthy and meaty flavor to the salad. They also add a unique texture that complements the other ingredients.
- Black olives, sliced: Black olives contribute a briny and salty flavor to the salad. They add depth and a distinctive Mediterranean touch.
- Cheese, crumbled: Blue cheese adds a bold and tangy flavor to the salad, creating a harmonious contrast with the other ingredients. It also provides a creamy texture and a unique umami element.
Step 1: Prepare the Dressing
In a small bowl, start by measuring and combining 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Ensure thorough stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Next, introduce approximately 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (1/6 cup) of extra virgin olive oil to the bowl.
Vigorously whisk the ingredients together, ensuring a well-emulsified mixture.
Now, incorporate 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese into the dressing. Add 1/2 teaspoon each of dried Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and Kosher salt. Mix the ingredients thoroughly to create a flavorful and well-balanced dressing. Set it aside for later use.
Step 2: Assemble the Salad
In a large salad bowl, place half of a chopped head of romaine lettuce.
Step 3: Add the Toppings
Arrange 3 ounces of sliced salami evenly over the bed of romaine lettuce. Scatter 3/4 cup of grape tomatoes across the salad for a burst of freshness. Introduce 1/2 cup of sliced fresh mushrooms to add earthy flavors. Distribute 1/2 cup of sliced black olives for a savory and briny element.
Step 4: Sprinkle with Blue Cheese
Crumble 1/4 cup of blue cheese over the salad, ensuring an even distribution of this bold and tangy ingredient.
Step 5: Drizzle with Dressing
Give the dressing a final whisk to recombine the ingredients. Drizzle the prepared dressing over the salad, coating the various components with its sweet, tangy, and herby notes.
Step 6: Toss Gently
Using salad tongs or two large spoons, gently toss the salad to ensure an even coating of the dressing on all ingredients.
Step 7: Serve and Enjoy
Divide the well-tossed salad among individual serving plates or bowls. Optionally, garnish with additional Parmesan cheese or a sprinkle of Italian seasoning for an extra layer of flavor.
Step 8: Serve Immediately
Lou Malnati’s Salad is best enjoyed fresh, so serve it immediately to experience the delightful combination of flavors.
• Make sure to use fresh, ripe tomatoes for the best flavor.
• Use a variety of cured meats for a unique flavor.
• Feel free to add other fresh vegetables, such as bell peppers or carrots.
• Use a high-quality olive oil for the best flavor.
• For a creamier dressing, add a tablespoon of mayonnaise.
• To make the salad more filling, add cooked pasta, beans, or quinoa.
One serving of Lou Malnati’s salad recipe is approximately
It is a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins A and C.
What to Serve with Lou Malnati’s Salad?
• Garlic bread
• Grilled chicken
• Baked fish
• Roasted vegetables
• Pasta dishes
• Rice dishes
How to Store Leftover Lou Malnati’s Salad?
Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
What Other Substitute Can I Use in Lou Malnati’s Salad?
• Arugula: Arugula has a peppery flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients in the salad.
• Spinach: Spinach is a good source of vitamins and minerals and has a mild flavor.
• Feta cheese: Feta cheese has a salty and tangy flavor that adds a nice contrast to the salad.
• Avocado: Avocado adds a creamy texture and is a good source of healthy fats.
• Walnuts: Walnuts have a nutty flavor and add a crunchy texture to the salad.
• Balsamic vinaigrette: Balsamic vinaigrette adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the salad.
• Sun-dried tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes are a great source of flavor and add a unique texture.
• Artichoke hearts: Artichoke hearts are a great source of fiber and have a mild flavor.
• Chickpeas: Chickpeas are a good source of protein and add a nutty flavor.
- Large Salad Bowl
- 1/6 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup black olives sliced
- 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbled
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms sliced
- 3 oz salami sliced
- 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 large head romaine lettuce chopped
- 3/4 cup grape tomatoes
Prepare the Dressing:
- In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp white wine vinegar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add 1/6 cup (approximately 2 tbsp + 2 tsp) extra virgin olive oil to the bowl and whisk the ingredients together.
- Stir in 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp Kosher salt. Mix well to combine. Set the dressing aside.
Assemble the Salad:
- In a large salad bowl, place 1/2 large head of chopped romaine lettuce.
Add the Toppings:
- Arrange 3 oz of sliced salami on top of the lettuce.
- Scatter 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, and 1/2 cup sliced black olives over the salad.
Sprinkle with Blue Cheese:
- Crumble 1/4 cup of blue cheese over the salad, distributing it evenly.
Drizzle with Dressing:
- Give the dressing a final whisk to ensure it’s well mixed, then drizzle it over the salad.
- Using salad tongs or two large spoons, gently toss the salad to coat the ingredients evenly with the dressing.
Serve and Enjoy:
- Divide the salad among serving plates or bowls.
- Optionally, you can garnish with additional Parmesan cheese or a sprinkle of Italian seasoning.
- Lou Malnati’s Salad is best enjoyed fresh. Serve immediately and savor the delightful combination of flavors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Lou Malnati’s salad recipe gluten-free?
Yes, Lou Malnati’s salad recipe is gluten-free.
Can I use different types of cheese in Lou Malnati’s salad recipe?
Yes, you can use a variety of cheeses, such as feta, Parmesan, or goat cheese.
Does Lou Malnati’s salad recipe need to be served cold?
No, you can serve the salad at room temperature or chilled.
Can I add proteins to Lou Malnati’s salad recipe?
Yes, you can add cooked proteins, such as chicken, shrimp, or steak, to the salad.
Can I make the salad ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the salad up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in the fridge.
What can I use as a substitute for the vinaigrette?
You can use a creamy dressing, such as ranch or Caesar, as a substitute for the vinaigrette.
How to customize Lou Malnati’s salad recipe?
You can customize Lou Malnati’s salad recipe by adding different vegetables, meats, and cheeses.
What kind of vinaigrette should I use for Lou Malnati’s salad recipe?
You can use a classic olive oil and red wine vinegar vinaigrette, or you can experiment with a variety of other vinaigrettes, such as balsamic, lemon, or honey mustard.
How can I make Lou Malnati’s salad recipe more nutritious?
You can add a variety of nutritious ingredients, such as beans, quinoa, nuts, and seeds.
What type of lettuce should I use for Lou Malnati’s salad recipe?
You can use a variety of lettuces, such as romaine, iceberg, or butter lettuce.
How long will Lou Malnati’s salad recipe stay fresh?
The salad can stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Lou Malnati’s salad recipe is a delicious and easy-to-make Italian-style salad. It’s packed with fresh vegetables, cured meats, and cheese, and is dressed with a light and flavorful vinaigrette. The salad is great for a light lunch or dinner and can be served with a variety of accompaniments.
You can customize the salad with different ingredients and make it up to 3 days ahead of time. With its bright and flavorful taste, Lou Malnati’s salad recipe is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.