Italian Picnic Salad

We were invited to a BBQ dinner last night and were asked to bring a salad.  Instead of making a typical salad with veggies, I decided to spruce it up Italian style with ingredients that are in season. My Italian Picnic Salad takes a little bit of planning ahead but the results are well worth it. Bon Appetite!

My Italian Picnic Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1tsp dried basil or 1tbs of fresh basil ( I had this is in my garden so I went fresh.)
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • ¼c plus 1tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion sliced thin
  • 1 pint balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbs honey
  • 1 container of arugula
  • 1 container of fresh mozzarella
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° and cut tomato into quarters. In a large bowl add garlic, basil, oregano, ¼c olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper to tomatoes and mix.
  2. Place tomatoes in the oven for 20-25 minutes. You get more of an intense flavor when you roast the tomatoes.
  3. While the tomatoes are roasting, place the pint of balsamic vinegar and honey into a pot and bring to a simmer. You want the vinegar to reduce to a syrup, aka a reduction. This took me about half an hour or so. Make sure to stir occasionally so as not to burn the vinegar. It will be done when it leaves a nice coating on the back of a spoon.
  4. While the vinegar is doing its thing, heat up a pan with the remaining 1tbs of olive oil and place the sliced onion in, add a dash of salt and pepper. I still wanted the onion slices to have a chew to them so I sweated them out for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Let all ingredients cool, and then in a large bowl, mix the arugula, roasted tomatoes, onions and mozzarella cheese. Drizzle the balsamic reduction on top. I prefer to serve this salad at room temperature.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400° and cut tomato into quarters. In a large bowl add garlic, basil, oregano, 1/4c olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper to tomatoes and mix.

tomatoes caprese

Place tomatoes in the oven for 20-25 minutes. You get more of an intense flavor when you roast the tomatoes.

roasted tomatoes

While the tomatoes are roasting, place the pint of balsamic vinegar and honey into a pot and bring to a simmer. You want the vinegar to reduce to a syrup, aka a reduction. This took me about half an hour or so. Make sure to stir occasionally so as not to burn the vinegar. It will be done when it leaves a nice coating on the back of a spoon.  This recipe makes a lot of the reduction, so I would save half of it to use on chicken, caprese salad, etc. It’s great to have in a pinch for a lazy dinner night. (Check out this recipe for Italian Chicken Roll-Ups, where I used the rest a few days later!)

balsamic vinegar reduction

While the vinegar is doing its thing, heat up a pan with the remaining 1tbs of olive oil and place the sliced onion in, add a dash of salt and pepper. I still wanted the onion slices to have a chew to them so I sweated them out for 10-15minutes.

onions sweat

Let all ingredients cool, and then in a large bowl, mix the arugula, roasted tomatoes, onions and mozzarella cheese. Drizzle the balsamic reduction on top. I prefer to serve this salad at room temperature.

This recipe is grain free, gluten free and primal.

Italian salad jen pedri

by Jen Pedri. Hi! I’m Jen, a pediatric Speech-language Pathologist by day and a Paleonista at-home chef by night. After years of battling health issues I decided to start eating Paleo/Primal in 2013. It has been by far the best decision of my life (beside adopting my dog and marrying my hubby). My health issues have greatly diminished and I have grown to absolutely love cooking without gluten and grains because of how amazing it makes me feel. I hope you enjoy my recipes as much as my family does!

My Italian Picnic Salad|The Holy Mess

What do you like to eat on hot summer days?

Do you have questions for Jen about this recipe or Paleo or Primal eating? Comment below.