This Hearty Tuscan Salad with Gorgonzola Dressing has it all: colour, crunch, and contrast. It's loaded with healthy greens like kale, radicchio and romaine and it has bold Mediterranean flavours from prosciutto, dates, walnuts and gorgonzola cheese.
I've made this Hearty Tuscan Salad with Gorgonzola Dressing on repeat lately. It has become a new favourite! The vibrant colours and strong flavours make this one to enjoy when you're craving Italian!
Italian flavours feel like home. I have no Italian heritage whatsoever, but robust Mediterranean foods are my favourite. I love spicy Thai and Tex-Mex flavours, but when seeking something familiar, I always seem to return to Mediterranean dishes.
There is nothing quite as appealing as fresh robust Tuscan flavours!
There is something about Mediterranean cuisine that is difficult to duplicate here in North America.
Why do tomatoes in Italy have so much more flavour than those here at home? Italian grapes seem sweeter and lemons seem juicier. Savouring an ordinary bruschetta in the Tuscan countryside can be an unforgettable experience. Is it the sunshine? The terroir? the way it's prepared? or a combination of all three?
I'm not sure what it is that makes such a difference, but I did my best to recreate those appetizing flavours and I succeeded in this salad.
This Tuscan salad begins with a crisp trio of chopped kale, romaine and radicchio. This base makes a colourful bed for the added proteins.
You'll also need Italian prosciutto, gorgonzola cheese, Medjool dates, and toasted walnuts.
Dressing Ingredients: You'll make the gorgonzola dressing with olive oil and vinegar and add gorgonzola cheese and Greek yogurt to make a deliciously creamy dressing.
- Dressing first. Start by making the dressing. Whisk together extra virgin olive oil and either apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. Add Greek yogurt, sea salt and pepper, then gently stir in gorgonzola. If the yogurt begins to separate, just whisk it again.
- Let the dressing stand while preparing the salad. For a creamier dressing, put all ingredients in a mini food processor and blend until smooth.
- Greens. Wash and dry the kale, radicchio and romaine leaves. Strip the tough inner ribs from the kale leaves and discard them. Cut or tear the kale into bite-sized pieces and do the same with the radicchio and romaine.
- Protein additions. Next, cut the prosciutto slices into bite-sized pieces. Crumble a little gorgonzola cheese and chop a few Medjool dates. Toast walnuts in a skillet over medium heat, just until they start to become fragrant. Remove promptly and let them cool.
- Assembly. Now it's time to assemble the salad. Toss the greens together and add them to a large bowl. Add the prosciutto, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, chopped dates and toasted walnuts on top.
- Time to toss! Just before serving, toss everything together with the creamy gorgonzola dressing.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips to make the best Tuscan Salad
- While it may seem strange to add dates to a salad, don't leave them out! The combination of sweet dates and salty prosciutto is surprisingly perfect in this recipe.
- And if you aren't a fan of gorgonzola cheese, substitute some Parmigiano Reggiano instead. It won't be as flavourful, but who doesn't love Parmesan cheese?
- This is a chopped salad, so be sure to slice all the ingredients into bite-sized pieces that are easy to manage.
- If the yogurt in the dressing seems to separate, just whisk it again to emulsify.
- To make thin slices of a creamy cheese like gorgonzola, put the block of cheese in the freezer for an hour or two.
Frequently Asked Questions
I like Lacinato kale for salads. It's known by many other names: Tuscan Kale, Dinosaur Kale and Black Kale. It is more tender than some other varieties of kale which can be best when they're cooked.
Wash and dry the leaves, then strip away the inner ribs which can be tough and stringy. If the kale seems tough, cut it into bite-sized pieces, add to a bowl with a teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and massage the leaves with your fingers for a few minutes.
Massaging kale breaks down its tough fibers and makes it more tender and appealing.
Storing your salad
Refrigerate any leftover salad promptly. This salad has sturdy greens so it will keep for a few days in the fridge. Store the dressing separately. It must be refrigerated as it contains dairy products.
Leftovers make a great Mason jar salad!
🍽 What to serve with Tuscan Salad
This hearty salad could even make a light dinner. A kale salad with prosciutto, cheese and nuts makes a well-balanced meal!
When you make this Italian salad, please leave a comment and a star rating below. I love hearing when you've made one of my recipes. Thanks in advance! Subscribe to my newsletter and have new recipes delivered straight to your inbox once a week.
This has been a popular post. Originally published in 2017, I have updated it with extra information. The recipe remains the same.
🗒More salad recipes
Hearty Tuscan Salad with Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- 2 cups radicchio, finely sliced
- 2 cups romaine, finely sliced
- 2 cups Lacinato kale, finely sliced (also called Tuscan, Dino or Black kale)
- 4 large Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 6 thin slices prosciutto, cut into ribbons
- shavings of gorgonzola cheese for garnish
- Prepare the dressing first. Whisk together oil and vinegar and add yogurt, sea salt and pepper. Gently stir in gorgonzola. If the yogurt begins to separate, just whisk it again. Let stand while preparing salad or refrigerate if making ahead of time. For a creamier dressing, put all ingredients in a mini food processor and blend until smooth.
- Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl or on a serving platter. Toss with dressing just before serving.