Not for it’s 80’s décor of mint green, mauve and candlelit ambiance, or the pasta sauce, but for their Italian chopped salad of chopped iceberg lettuce, salami, mozzarella, garbanzo beans all tossed in a one of a kind creamy Italian dressing. Forget La Scala’s famous chopped salad, Guido’s chopped salad surpasses it. Many nights, my hubby and I would go to dinner at Guido’s just for the Italian chopped salad and creamy dressing. Sadly, Guido’s restaurant closed over 2 years ago. We so miss our Guido nights and that Italian chopped salad.
Determined to re-create Guido’s Italian chopped salad and creamy dressing at home, during our dinners at Guido’s, I would slowly taste the creamy dressing in attempt to break down the ingredients. My tasted buds identified Dijon mustard, vinegar, and maybe mayo. I was always left mystified.
Blissfully, I now have the recipe for that infamous house Italian dressing and am sharing it with you. Surprised in learning the creamy dressing contains 14 ingredients – I could have never guessed all of those components. However, the biggest astonishment was learning that anchovy is in that list of ingredients. Who knew that anchovy was the star ingredient in this dressing. And it wasn’t mayo that I tasted – it is the egg that adds the creaminess. I know, 14 ingredients sounds like a lot, but most likely you already have everything on hand, except maybe the anchovy.
In keeping with my healthy tradition, I used organic gluten-free genoa salami and organic BPA free garbanzo beans. Oh yeah, even my lettuce is organic. For the creamy dressing, a motar and pestle is required for muddling the fresh herbs of tarragon or basil, oregano, bay leaf, and garlic. However, next time I’m going to try pulsing the ingredients in a food processor. I’m sure it will taste just as good. Actually, I sprained my finger last week and wish I had used my food processor instead of the motar and pestle. Would have been a lot quicker and painless.
Those who previously dined at Guido’s in Malibu will thank me for this recipe! And those who haven’t but try this recipe, will also thank me!
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped
- 1 can of organic BPA free garbanzo beans
- 4 oz gluten free organic genoa salami, sliced
- 4 oz mozzarella cheese slices, sliced
- Chopped all ingredients and add to large bowl. Toss with Guido's Italian dressing.
- 2½ teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon (basil can be substituted)
- 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 small fresh bay leaf, chopped
- 1½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1½ teaspoon finely chopped or ground anchovy
- 1 egg
- 2½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2½ teaspoons lemon juice, from about ½ lemon
- 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2⅔ cups oil
- 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¾ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- Using a mortar and pestle or food processor, finely grind the tarragon, oregano and bay leaf. Add the garlic and grind. Add the anchovy and work the mixture until the anchovy is ground and mixed with the other flavorings. Remove the mixture to a large bowl.
- Add the egg to the bowl and beat the mixture well with a whisk to combine. Beat in the mustard, lemon juice and Worcestershire. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly to emulsify the dressing.
- Whisk in the red wine and balsamic vinegars, then season with salt and pepper. Taste, adjusting the seasonings and flavorings as desired. This makes a scant three cups dressing, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, 3 to 5 days.