Flavorful Salad With Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

I have been wanting to show you this salad for a couple weeks. I've made it probably 4 times in the past few weeks, and have forgotten to take pictures EVERY TIME until yesterday. This is mostly because as soon as it's put together I want to eat it.

I first ate this salad at a restaurant called the Sapphire Hotel (you can read about it in my post about our "Stay-cation"). It was love at first bite. As soon as we got home from our vacation, I ran to the store and bought everything we needed to make it. Jake loves it just as much as I do, and he doesn't even like olives.

Here's what you need:
-Spring Mix Salad
-Focaccia bread (I used a cheesy focaccia which was super tasty. You can definitely use a different type of bread if you'd like)
-Whole Mozzarella Cheese  
-Grape Tomatoes
-Kalamata Olives

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing: (From Emeril @ Food Network)
-1/4 c. Balsamic vinegar
-1 Tbs minced garlic
-3/4 c. Olive Oil

Here's what you do:
-Dish salad onto individual plates
-Chop up focaccia bread into bite-sized pieces. Place them on a baking sheet and cook under broiler until pieces are slightly crispy, but still soft, and golden (roughly 1-2 min). Sprinkle a handful on top of each salad.
-Cut Mozzarella cheese into small bite-sized cubes. Sprinkle a handful on top of each salad.
-Slice grape tomatoes in half. Sprinkle a handful on top of each salad.
-Slice Kalamata olives in half. Sprinkle a handful on top of each salad.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing:
-Combine all ingredients in a container with a lid; salt and pepper to taste.
-Cover container and shake until all ingredients are mixed.
-Drizzle dressing on salad immediately*. 

*Note: The olive oil tends to separate from the rest of the dressing. When serving the dressing again, make sure to shake/mix it well so the dressing stays together.

This salad is a great side dish to almost any meal. I like to eat a big salad all by itself for dinner... it's that good.


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