Olive Garden’s fresh salads are a great reason to visit the chain, as are its soup and breadsticks. You can even ask for add-ons when ordering a salad at a restaurant, like grilled chicken. If you want to add an interesting texture to your homemade salad, it’s best to browse the appetizer menu. There you will find the shrimp fritto misto, made with fried and breaded shrimp, peppers and onions. While it’s 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 packed with plenty of fried treats, including toasted ravioli, calamari, and lasagna fritta. If you’re feeling sassy, you can also request your salad to be topped with chicken parmigiana, combining the greens and vegetables with the reliable fried chicken breast topped with cheese and marinara sauce. However, the shrimp fritto misto is especially enticing when paired with the chain’s house salad, as it delivers 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 change.
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What is usually included in Olive Garden’s house salad?
There’s a very good reason why Olive Garden’s beloved house salad makes such a compelling base for many other items on the restaurant’s menu. When it comes to vegetables, diners can expect a variety of fresh lettuce, juicy tomatoes, onions and olives. The salad also includes pepperoncini, a type of chili pepper usually preserved by pickling. Although they are mildly spicy, don’t expect blazing heat from these peppers, as they typically range between 100 and 500 Scoville heat units, at least five times less than jalapeño peppers.
In addition to croutons, Olive Garden’s house salad also comes with the chain’s Italian vinaigrette. Although the chain doesn’t want to give away its recipes too much, copycat versions of the dressing contain ingredients like lemon juice, mayonnaise, extra light olive oil, white vinegar, Romano cheese and an assortment of Italian seasonings. It’s a pretty basic setup of salad toppings, but customers can’t seem to get enough of the dish, whether they’re enjoying a light lunch or having it as a side to a heartier pasta dish. And by adding shrimp fritto misto, the salad becomes the perfect dinner or fortifying afternoon selection.
Customers weigh in on the Fritto Misto shrimp appetizer
If you’ve never had Olive Garden’s fried shrimp appetizer and are wondering what it is, Reddit can provide you with some answers. According to one commenter, the appetizer is actually based on an authentic Italian recipe that translates to “fried sea mix.” Besides shrimp and peppers, the Italian dish also includes scallops and squid. The Redditor speculates that these additions might make the appetizer more expensive than the average Olive Garden customer is willing to tolerate.
As for the quality of Olive Garden’s version of the aperitif, it received generally favorable comments. According to one customer, “It was actually pretty good. Worth the price,” which is now listed at $12.99 for more than a half pound of shrimp, peppers and onions. However, one person described the fried breading as “too salty,” while another questioned the massive amount of shrimp diners receive when ordering the appetizer. It’s unclear 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 a tantalizing combination of flavors and textures, it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.