During this era of hunkering down at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, many of us have had to give up some of our favorite activities — like going out to eat at familiar spots and ordering the meals that comfort us the most.
We can’t control the fact that many restaurants are closed right now, but we can have a say in what we eat in our own homes, which is why cooking our own copycat versions of well-known restaurant chain dishes has become a popular new pastime.
Now, there’s another familiar menu item to try whipping up at home, and it’s a particularly easy one: Olive Garden’s Garden Salad, complete with the savory dressing that coats all the veggies and croutons.
To make this dish as detailed by MyRecipes, you put together a fresh salad using mixed greens, tomatoes, red onion, olives, croutons and pickled pepperoncini. Then, the dressing is unmistakably Italian, calling for garlic, herbs and spices mixed together with oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise and Parmesan, along with a bit of sugar.
Drizzle the dressing over the fresh salad and toss to make sure every bite is full of that familiar, garlicky flavor.
As you might expect, there are copycat recipes for many beloved Olive Garden items, including the restaurant chain’s hearty chicken gnocchi soup and the classic breadsticks.
According to Handle the Heat, the breadsticks are simple to make — requiring only six ingredients! — and nearly impossible to stop eating.
For dessert, you could try your hand at making Olive Garden’s decadent black tie mousse cake, per the instructions on the blog Mindee’s Cooking Obsession. Creating this rich, creamy cake takes some time and effort, though it might be nice to have a time-consuming, delicious project during these long days of quietude at home.
It’s not necessarily a healthy option just because you’re making it at home, but who said comfort food needs to be healthy?