(Not so) Antipasto Salad

Posted by francis keyser Friday, April 10, 2009
Taste Level: VGR
Cost: $20 and under
Serves: 6-8
Prep Time: 30-35 min.
Cook time: 10-15 min.
Difficulty: 1

This meal is a childhood favorite of mine. My dad made it with 100 percent vegetable spiral noodles he bought from a health food store. There was a recipe on the side of the package for antipasto salad. From that recipe my dad came up with his own version after looking through our cabinets and refrigerator. I have changed it up a bit through the years and it remains one of my favorite meals. It stores easy and the longer it sits the better it tastes. I call it my Not so Antipasto Salad or my anti-antipasto salad because I have never come across those 100 percent vegetable noodles. This is great during the summer for lunch, dinner, picnics and roadtrips.

Ingredients:
1 12 oz package of garden spiral pasta
3/4 cup Italian dressing (I usually use an off brand but sometimes use a fancy name brand, tastes good either way)
1/2 cup either Sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained and Juliane) or 1 pt cherry tomatoes (halved or quartered.)
6 oz can of black olives (sliced, save 1 tbsp juice from can)
7 oz jar of green olives (sliced, save 1 tbsp juice from can)
1 large carrot (grated)
1/2 pound Bella mushrooms (sliced)
1 large jalapeno (diced)
1/2 of each green, red, yellow and orange bell pepper (Juliane and then halved or you can use just two green bell peppers, I like the color.)
1/4 of a medium red onion (diced)
2 green onions chopped)
2 16 oz jars of marinated artichoke hearts (do not drain, remove artichoke hearts and chop. pour remaining marinade into a 2 and a 1/2 cup measuring cup.)
pinch or two of Kosher salt
1/4 tsp Crack Pepper

Cook pasta according to package. Strain noodles in sieve and run cold water over them till cooled. Sit aside in sieve to dry.

In a large salad bowl (preferably plastic with a sealable lid) fold all vegetables by hand together till mixed well. Add in cooled pasta and gently fold in so as not to break noodles.

Pour in both olive juices to measuring cup with artichoke heart marinade. Fill up to the 2 and a 1/2 cup mark with Italian dressing. Stir well with a spoon or fork. Pour this evenly over Salad mixture. Cover and shake for 1-2 minutes (this is why a plastic sealable salad bowl container is preferable although I have had success pots, pans and glass salad bowls with an aluminum foil cover as well.)

Crack pepper and kosher salt to taste. (Shake or stir everytime before serving.) Serve right away or for best taste refrigerate for 2- 24 hours (24 hours makes it so much better!)

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