Amp Up Your Olive Garden Salad With Crunchy Shrimp Fritto Misto

Olive Garden house salad
Olive Garden house salad - Olive Garden / Facebook

Olive Garden's fresh salads are a great reason to visit the chain, along with its soup and breadsticks. You can even request add-ons when ordering a salad at the restaurant, such as grilled chicken. In the event you want to add some exciting texture to your house salad, it's best to peruse the appetizer menu. There you'll find the shrimp fritto misto, which features fried and breaded shrimp, peppers, and onions. While traditionally enjoyed as a substantial appetizer perhaps best shared among friends and family, you may also be able to enjoy it as a decadent salad topping.

Olive Garden's appetizer selection is replete with lots of fried goodies, including toasted ravioli, calamari, and lasagna fritta. If you're feeling saucy, you can also request that your salad comes topped with chicken parmigiana, combining the greens and veggies with the reliable fried chicken breast slathered with cheese and marinara sauce. However, the shrimp fritto misto is particularly enticing when it comes to pairing with the chain's house salad, as it offers substantial crunch and bold flavors thanks to the peppers and onions. Keep in mind that not all locations may be willing or able to make the amendment.

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What's Usually Included In Olive Garden's House Salad?

Olive Garden storefront
Olive Garden storefront - Bloomberg/Getty Images

There's a very good reason why Olive Garden's beloved house salad makes such a compelling foundation for many of the restaurant's other menu items. When it comes to veggies, diners can look forward to a variety of fresh lettuce, juicy tomatoes, onions, and olives. The salad also includes pepperoncini, which are a type of chile that is usually preserved via pickling. While a touch spicy, don't expect blazing heat from these peppers, as they typically fall between 100 and 500 Scoville Heat Units, at least five times less than jalapeños.

In addition to croutons, Olive Garden's house salad also comes with the chain's Italian dressing on the side. While the chain isn't too keen on disclosing its recipes, copycat versions of the dressing feature ingredients like lemon juice, mayo, extra light olive oil, white vinegar, Romano cheese, and assorted Italian seasonings. It's a pretty basic configuration of salad fixings, but customers can't seem to get enough of the dish whether they're enjoying a light lunch or having it on the side of a more substantial pasta dish. And by adding shrimp fritto misto, the salad becomes the perfect dinnertime or fortifying afternoon selection.

Customers Weigh In On The Shrimp Fritto Misto Appetizer

shrimp fritto misto
shrimp fritto misto - Olive Garden / Facebook

If you've never had Olive Garden's fried shrimp appetizer and are wondering what all the fuss is about, Reddit can provide some answers. According to one commenter, the appetizer is actually based on an authentic Italian recipe that translates to "fried mix of the sea." Along with shrimp and peppers, the Italian dish also includes scallops and calamari. The Redditor surmises that those additions might make the appetizer more expensive than the average Olive Garden patron is willing to tolerate.

As for the quality of Olive Garden's version of the appetizer, it garnered favorable comments overall. According to one customer, "It was actually pretty good. Worth the price," which is now listed as $12.99 for more than a half-pound of shrimp, peppers, and onions. However, one person described the fried breading as "overly salty," while another questioned the massive amount of shrimp diners receive when ordering the appetizer. It's not clear how many pieces of fried shrimp, peppers, and onions a customer would get if they ordered the shrimp fritto misto as a house salad topping. But for such an enticing combination of flavors and textures, it certainly doesn't hurt to ask.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.