This Hearty Tuscan Salad has it all: colour, crunch, and contrast. It’s loaded with healthy greens and bold Mediterranean flavours from prosciutto, dates, walnuts and gorgonzola cheese.
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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 seems to return to Mediterranean dishes. I’ve made this Hearty Tuscan Salad with Gorgonzola Dressing several times lately. It has become a new favourite.
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?
Regardless, 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. Slice some prosciutto, crumble a little gorgonzola cheese and chop some dates and toasted walnuts to add on top. Just before serving, toss it all with a creamy dressing made with Greek yogurt and gorgonzola.
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?
Serve alongside my Easy Baked Lemon Chicken and you’ll have a completely satisfying meal. Enjoy!
Tips for making this Hearty Tuscan Salad with Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing
- 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 creamy cheese like gorgonzola, put the block of cheese in the freezer for an hour or two.
This Hearty Tuscan Salad has it all: colour, crunch, and contrast. It's loaded with healthy greens and bold Mediterranean flavours from prosciutto, dates, walnuts and gorgonzola cheese.
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 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 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 1/2 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.
Makes 1 cup of dressing, so you will probably have some left over.
I adapted this recipe from Giada’s Tricolore Chopped Salad to reduce the calorie count.