Johnny Carino’s is one of my favorite Italian restaurants. The really strange thing is that my favorite thing there is a salad (?!?!?), specifically, I LOVE Johnny Carino’s Italian Wedge Salad. It has the most amazing blend of contrasting tastes – tangy sweet apples and candied pecans contrast offset the bitter cheese and salty bacon. They offset the tomatoes perfectly, and I don’t even like tomatoes! Needless to say, I was slightly disappointed when the Carino’s near us in Sandy closed. Disappointed may be too mild a word. I howled and acted like a drama queen, which I usually try not to be. Since, driving 25 minutes to the nearest remaining restaurant wasn’t going to happen very often, I immediately went home and tried to find a knock-off recipe that I could duplicate. There are a few out there that were close, but none that had all the ingredients AND the right dressing. So, I made up my own salad recipe and found one for the dressing. Here for your eating enjoyment, are directions to re-create the full Johnny Carino’s Italian Wedge Salad experience in your own home.
Johnny Carino’s Italian Wedge Salad
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce
- bacon crumbles (save yourself some time and get the pre-cooked bacon, it is so very worth it)
- candied pecans (NOT sugared pecans- there is a difference!)
- Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
- diced Granny Smith apples
- diced roma tomatoes
Directions: Wash and dry lettuce. Remove core and cut head into 6-8 equal wedges. Top with bacon, pecans, Gorgonzola, apple pieces, and tomatoes. Drizzle with Garlic Ranch dressing (recipe below).