This is one of my all time favorite salads. It’s perfect on a hot summer day when the last thing you want to do is cook a heavy meal on the stove or in the oven. The recipe can be made with any of the vegetables in your garden including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini and celery. I use Wishbone Italian dressing because it has the flavors I’m going for. I add a little sugar to take the edge off the tangy, but if you prefer your salads to have a zing, then leave it out. You could certainly make your own Italian dressing, I just don’t bother.
This recipe is one that can be altered to fit your personal tastes. I don’t care for green pepper, so I don’t add it to the salad, but you might love it so add away. I love olives and throw in at least a cup of both – some people might thinks that’s excessive – I don’t care what some people think.
You can use pre-shredded, pre-packaged mozzarella cheese, but you’d regret it. Stick to the real stuff, you can thank me later. I didn’t include Parmesan cheese because someone in this house keeps making Alfredo sauce and using it all, so I didn’t have any. If I did I would throw half a container of the real stuff in, but not the powdered kind that you put on pizza.
I use whatever pasta I have on hand, I don’t really care what the shape is, however, I think the rotini looks the best. Penne would be my second choice, followed by spaghetti or fettuccine. I think I’d avoid elbows or shells, but that’s just me.
This makes a great side salad and is perfect for a potluck if we ever have them again. It also is perfect as a stand alone salad for lunch. It’s perfect for work – just make sure you write your name on so Roger in accounting doesn’t steal it.
If you’re keto conscious, you can skip the pasta and the tablespoon of sugar.