This salad truly couldn’t be more simple, fresh, and wonderfully delicious! I love salads where you put together a few wholesome ingredients that compliment each other to a T, and then just gently lay it all over a bed of beautiful greens. You could use any fluffy, leafy, crisp green that’s going to hold up to all of the the oil & vinegar that is going to get poured over top of everything, but I chose green leaf lettuce that I got straight from my local farmers market. Now, if you are like me and have become obsessed with getting all of your produce from the farm.. just be aware that if you purchase any kind of lettuce there to wash it extremely well when you get back home. I wouldn’t even recommend washing it only when it’s whole either. Wash it before and after you cut it because it could have an insane amount of dirt on it, and we definitely don’t want that anywhere near our delicate dish, along with having tiny little bugs crawling along the crinkles of the leaves, so we want to be certain it is free from all of that nonsense!
To kick off our salty, creamy, and yet a little sweet salad.. cube a whole block of mozzarella cheese, medium dice a small jar of roasted red peppers, and half a nice handful of briny kalamata olives.
- When you empty out the jar of roasted red peppers, do not get rid of the liquid inside!! We will use some of that later!
- Let’s talk mozzarella cheese for a second: I did mention a “block”, and you might be wondering what that means because you’ve only ever seen it shredded in bags, or fresh in a ball. Those assumptions are both very true, although there are brands that create mozzarella cheese in a square block form, and on the package it says “firm”. I want you to use the more firm mozzarella as I did if you’s can; being that the dressing will hold up on it much better, and if there are left overs the cheese will not get soft, and soggy as quickly as it would if you used it from the softer “ball”.
- Now.. for some kalamata olive talk: If you don’t love olives, or you think you dont.. still give this a try, and do not skip on the olives! The salty punch you get from olives when you take a bite mixing with the sweet, and smokiness from the pepper, along with the creaminess of the cheese is just phenomenal!
As I already mentioned earlier.. make sure your bright, leafy green lettuce is washed well! That is super super important, especially if you’re making this dish for your whole family, or even more importantly.. you’re having guests over! You surely wouldn’t want anyone running into anything they don’t want to be running into. Lol. If you don’t have the lettuce fully chopped how you wanted when you washed it, you can go back in, and make those cuts, or rips. With an incredibly leafy green like this, it’s easiest to just tear pieces from each other unless you were making a “chopped” salad, but that isn’t the look we’re going for with this. I like an Italian inspired plate such as this one, to look rustic.. which is why I chose to put it in a textured wooden bowl. You Diamonds know how I feel about gorgeous presentation, and the contrasting of colors!
After you have chopped up our three super stars for this salad, you can add our vinegary bites to the bowl of the mozzarella cheese.
Once everything is all mixed up together in the bowl, go ahead and pour really good olive oil over top of everything, so that it nicely coated, and shiny! Along with the olive oil, drop in a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar, or even the glaze if you have that on hand. If you didn’t add the glaze and just used the vinegar, drizzle in some honey. You Diamonds might have figured it out already if you’ve been coming on the blog for a while now, but if you haven’t.. I love, love, love including honey in a majority of dishes that I create! We definitely can’t forget about seasonings since that is what I believe takes things to a whole other dimension! Sprinkle in salt, pepper, parsley, Italian seasoning, dried basil, garlic powder, and onion powder to taste. I never measure seasonings, or want to almost demand all of you how much you have to put in because everyone is different, and we all love different tastes. What tastes strong to you, may not taste strong to me, and vise versa!
- We are going to use that roasted red pepper juice that I told you to save earlier, as well as the same amount of liquid from the jar of kalamata olives. These two ingredients are going to have a lot of flavor impact in this dressing.. which is going to allow it marinate so stunningly.
After letting the trifecta sit in the cold fridge letting the dressing soak in, marinating everything together marvelously.. now is the time to spoon it all on top of the lettuce. Leave the marinated salad on TOP of our lettuce instead of mixing it in because we want this to look dressed with so many delectable goodies to make it look like all of these yummy things are actually garnishing our lettuce leaves!
You know whats next Diamonds! Garnish, garnish, garnish! Even though this plate already looks really radiant, these few little steps to make it even more pretty will just heighten it’s presentation game!
- Drizzle the top with more olive oil, fresh cracked black pepper, chopped parsley, and grated parmesan cheese.
- Parmesan cheese on a salad like this with a ton of oil & vinegar flavors is just pure magic!
This marinated mozzarella, roasted red pepper, and kalamata olive salad is exceptional, and everyone that comes over will adore it! This is a dish that can be brought to any party, any cookout, and paired with anything. I can assure you that it’s going to taste as incredible as it looks! I made this with sticky honey mustard grilled chicken thighs, and loaded baked potatoes, and let me tell you Diamonds.. it was the most perfect compliment to the meal. My parents were in awe over how flavorful it was because there honestly isn’t much to it at all! As I have said many of times before.. you don’t need an over amount of ingredients to make something unique, delicious, and popular for that matter!
We have one more month of sensational summer eats here on Deep Fried Diamonds until I switch over to some warm, and fabulous fall food that I know you all will adore so much, so get excited for the next season to come, as you still continue to enjoy the rest of what summer on the blog has to offer! I’ll be back with more simple, yet succulent dishes next week Diamonds! 🙂