Insalata Salad Florentine!

As many of you know I've been blessed (yes blessed!) to work at Williams Sonoma here in Tulsa. I've absolutely loved it. I started the fall we moved back (October 2014) as a way to get out of the house a few days a week and to get a nice discount on some much needed items (I'm sure some of you don't realize but EVERY time we had to move countries we had to buy NEW appliances, so yes, that was costly).

I haven't worked much in the last year- mainly because I was pregnant and then had little baby girl but I continue to do all of their social media and events- which I love. I have also met some of the most fun people- men and women- from all walks of life and all different backgrounds. So when I say a blessing I definitely mean it- I've really cherished my "job" there.

So on to the salad! Woo! Each year we do inventory and even though it's a bit of a pain (5 a.m. arrival time- not for me this year due to little baby girl!) it's fun and everyone brings a dish to share. So alas time for the recipe- and no- it's not mine (though I did add a few extra things!). And I'm not stingy and this salad is so freaking good it has to be shared!

Macaroni Grill Insalata Florentine
3 ounces julienne-shredded fresh spinach
3 ounces grilled chicken, sliced and chilled
1 ounce ripe Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 ounce pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/2 ounce sun-dried tomatoes, julienne cut
1/2 ounce capers
1/2 ounce sliced black olives
1/2 ounce julienne-cut radicchio
5 ounces orzo pasta, cooked and chilled
3 ounces roasted, garlic lemon vinaigrette
1/4 ounce shaved Grana Padana Parmesan
Fresh cracked pepper, for garnish
In the order listed, place all ingredients, except Parmesan cheese, in a chilled mixing bowl.
Toss and serve in a bowl. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper.  

Macaroni Grill Roasted Garlic Lemon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 ounce roasted garlic
3/4 cup virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced (no seeds)
Place vinegar, honey, salt and roasted garlic in a food processor. Puree until garlic is chopped very fine.
With the food processor still running, add olive oil and lemon juice. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Notes:  I only add the sliced, grilled chicken if making for a main dish.  
Notes: I added fresh chopped basil and Cavendar's seasoning before I added in the dressing. I'm thinking you could also add in some chopped cooked bacon if you didn't want to do the chicken!

So yes thank me later- it is a bit time consuming- but worth it. And still yummy the next day. Not to mention the dressing is fantastic and can be tossed with anything!


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