Friday, May 21, 2010

Antipasti Salad

In the upcoming summer months there will be no shortage of barbecues, picnics and other get-togethers that call for all kinds of salads. I tend to prefer those that use vinaigrette style dressings. They can be made ahead, improve in flavor as they sit, and lessen the risk of spoilage in the warmer months. This style is one of my favorites! As far as the olives go, I didn't specify because there are many choices and preferences out there. I like green or kalamata olives, or you can use simple black.

1 lb. rotini pasta
1 12 oz. jar artichoke hearts, drained
1 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 3.8 oz. can sliced olives, drained
1/4 lb. chopped pepperoni or salami
6 oz. cubed or shredded mozzarella cheese
shredded or grated parmesan cheese
1 8 oz. bottle Italian dressing with balsamic vinegar (I used Brianna's New American)

Cook the pasta according to package direction. Drain well and add to a large bowl. Chop the artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers. Add the artichoke hearts, red peppers and olives to the pasta and mix well.
Pour the dressing in and stir to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes until ready to serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days, refrigerated.

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