Every summer, I go through a phase where the only foods that sound even remotely appetizing have to be ice cold. I probably consume half of my yearly intake of fresh produce during a six week span when the temperature peaks. Snacking on fresh veggies with dip, eating my fill of frozen blueberries or grapes, finishing off giant bowls of watermelon in one sitting… For those of you who enjoy mild, temperate summers where a late July panini or pasta dish doesn’t seem absurd – can I come visit you? Please?
This summer, I created this Antipasto Salad after discovering that they now sell Olive Garden’s salad dressing in Target! Yum! Yes, please! I dropped it into my cart and excitedly scurried around the store grabbing the other ingredients that I knew it needed to be paired with. Tangy sun dried tomatoes, little creamy ciliegini (which is fancy for “cherry sized balls of fresh mozzarella” – buy them, buy them now), genoa salami, and crisp hearts of romaine.
I have been guilty of eating this salad more than once in the same day. It’s that good.
And sooooooooooo easy that I can even throw it together when the summer sun has stolen my will to live. (Too dramatic? Nah.) There’s something about this salad that feels so indulgent, which is a hard feeling to come by when you’re living on cold fruits and veggies. Things feel refreshing and delicious and lots of other wonderful things, but indulgent? Not too often…
- 2 cups hearts of romaine, chopped
- 2-3 tbsp sun dried tomatoes, diced*
- 3 balls of ciliegini mozzarella, each quartered
- 4 slices of genoa salami, sliced into strips
- 2 tbsp Olive Garden salad dressing
- Grab a cutting board and good knife. Chop your romaine and sun dried tomatoes. Toss them into a large salad bowl.
- Next, slice each ball of mozzarella in half, then in half again. Roll your slices of salami into a cigar shape and slice to create thin strips. Toss salami and mozzarella into the salad bowl.
- Add your dressing and toss to coat evenly. Enjoy!
- *I strongly prefer the sun dried tomatoes that are NOT packed in oil. You can buy them in a little resealable bag.