Monday, January 3, 2011
Italian Meat Salad
This salad is a great light meal by itself or a summer side dish with burgers/BBQ or grilled chicken. Acually, I love it anytime of the year! Feel free to use your imagination and try different things in it. All ingredients are optional, depending on what you like. However, be warned- it makes a BIG salad. So if you are cooking for just a couple people, you will either want to cut it in half, or you will be eating leftovers for a long time!
Serves about 8.
1/2- 3/4 pound total of thinly sliced salami, pepperoni, turkey and/or ham cut up into small pieces
1 small-medium onion, chopped
1/2 - 1 green, yellow and/or red bell pepper, chopped small
1/4 cup (or more) black olives, sliced
1/4 cup green olives, sliced
1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, cut up
1/2 pound (or more) cheese, cubed small (jack, pepper jack, colby, sharp cheddar, cheddar, provolone, mozzarella, etc)
1 can of beans, rinsed (cannelini, navy, kidney, black, pink, garbanzo/chickpeas, etc)
2 med-large tomatoes, chopped (or cherry/grape tomatoes as desired, chopped- have also used undrained, canned, diced tomatoes, also)
1/2-1 cucumber, partially peeled, quarted and sliced
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 carrots, sliced or grated
Macaroni- 4 cups cooked according to the directions and cooled (or as much as desired)
1-2 heads of Romaine lettuce, cleaned and torn (may use spinach, escarole or other greens)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Any type of Italian dressing (may contain balsamic vinegar, caesar type, or may also add some ranch-type dressing for a little different flavor and creaminess)- usually need to add some more to the salad later if the pasta has soaked much liquid up
Alfalfa sprouts (or any other kind add a nice crunch and pack the nutrition)
1 can drained whole kernel corn- not creamed
Mix all ingredients together in no particular order and chill for 1 hour, if possible. Otherwise, dig in!
*note- the lettuce will wilt eventually. So if you eat it much later, it will be limp but still tasty. If you do not like limp salad greens, you may wait to mix the greens on each plate with the other ingredients when you serve it. Then if there are leftovers, you can keep the greens separate and enjoy a crisper salad next time you eat it.