Italy’s famous Insalata Tricolore represents the colors of the Italian flag. A fantastic salad with an exciting trio of lettuces and a vibrant lemon vinaigrette. This is my FAVORITE salad for any occasion and the BEST salad to serve with an Italian meal.
Fresh crisp flavorful lettuces, rich nutty parmesan cheese and luscious Lemony vinaigrette make this tricolore salad a popular classic. Tricolore salad goes with so many things and it always delights.
I make this for weeknight dinners and for fancy parties. Italian tricolore salad is a great dinner party dish: colorful, elegant and easy to throw together. A simple salad but so pretty and delicious because of the strong personalities of these lettuces and how well they complement each other.
Insalata Tricolore means salad of three colors
The Italian flag with vertical stripes of green, white and red, is often referred to as: Il Tricolore. This salad is named after the flag.
- The green is rich peppery arugula.
- Endive is the white, light and crunchy.
- The red is radicchio: thick, cabbagy and slightly bitter (in a good way).
Interestingly, this salad is not the only Italian dish to use the colors of the flag. Many writers have noted the connection of Italy's national colors to its cuisine. Once you start looking for it, you will see a lot of green-white-and-red dishes, such as caprese salad, chicken parmesan and pizza margherita (mozarella, basil and tomato).
The Italian Dressing
- In Italy, the dressing for a tricolore salad is a drizzle of good quality olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, and a sprinkle fresh ground pepper – delicious.
- Or you can mix up a fresh lemony vinaigrette with dijon mustard and a hint of garlic, as I do in this recipe.
- Parmesan cheese is a delicious complement to the bright citrus vinaigrette. The cheese can be finely grated and mixed in with the salad or shaved and tossed on top, or both. For best flavor and texture, be sure to use good quality imported parmesan, such as Parmigiana Reggiano.
When you don’t have an occasion to buy fancy lettuces like radicchio and endive, try other tricolore combinations. One of my favorites is the trio of Arugula, thinly sliced red cabbage, and slivers of avocado, with the same lemony vinaigrette as I use for this tricolore salad.
Other Delicious Leafy Salads:
- Raw Kale Salad with Honey Lemon and Parmesan
- Butter Lettuce Salad with Citrus Honey Vinaigrette
- The Best Green Salad
Here's the Tricolore salad recipe. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print
Originally published April 13, 2013. Updated June 2, 2021 with several new photos and some clarifying details added to the recipe. The same delicious recipe!