Homemade croutons star in this easy Italian salad, filled with grape tomatoes, olives and pepperoncinis. "I like to serve it with fresh Italian or focaccia bread," Nancy Granaman suggests from Burlington, Iowa.
- 3 slices Italian bread, cubed
- Butter-flavored cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 bunches romaine, torn
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
- 8 pepperoncini
- 1/2 cup fat-free Italian salad dressing
- For croutons, spritz bread cubes with butter-flavored spray; place in a bowl. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and garlic powder; toss to coat evenly.
- Transfer to a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once or twice. Cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the romaine, tomatoes, olives, Parmesan cheese, onion and pepperoncini. Drizzle with salad dressing; toss to coat. Top with croutons. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Italian Salad in Light & Tasty October 2005, p9
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