This is my favorite salad in the entire universe.
I got the idea from a similar salad that I ate often when I was pregnant with my daughter (so many of my recipes contain this phrase). The salad was delicious, but it was ridiculously overpriced, since it came from a mall food court. I decided to recreate it myself, and I’ve never looked back. It’s the perfect blend of veggies and pasta (because I’m a pasta fanatic), and if you make it properly, it will keep in your fridge for the entire week.
I know you’re questioning me right now…salad in the fridge for a week?!
The key is to make sure that the ingredients going into the salad are as dry as possible. Prior to combining each ingredient, I spin everything in a Salad Spinner—especially the pasta, black olives, and artichoke hearts, since they’re all going to involve extra water to begin with. If you get mozzarella packed in water, spin it! If your sun-dried tomatoes are packed in oil, spin those suckers! Extra liquid will cause the salad to get really mushy and gross. But! If you keep everything as dry as possible before it touches the lettuce and such, your salad will last well into the week. I promise!
Italian Mixed Green Salad w/ Pasta & Herbs
2 – 11 oz packages Organic Spring Mix (or your favorite type of lettuce mix)
1 – 5 oz package arugula (optional)
Fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (the amount depends on your preference)
Fresh oregano leaves, chopped (the amount depends on your preference)
1 red onion, quartered and sliced
1 red pepper, quartered and sliced
1 yellow pepper, quartered and sliced
4-5 mushrooms, sliced
1 can sliced black olives
6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (I buy the bagged variety, already chopped & just
add a handful—keeps the salad fresher longer than adding the ones packed
1 pound fresh mozzarella, diced into bite-sized cubes
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
½ pound rotini pasta, boiled al dente, drained, and allowed to dry as much as
possible after draining
Your favorite balsamic vinaigrette (or dressing of your choice)
Combine all of the ingredients together into a large (very large) bowl. Serve with your favorite dressing.
Note: under the proper conditions, this salad will keep in the refrigerator for several days, up to a week. It’s very important to keep the ingredients going into the salad as dry as possible. Prior to combining each ingredient, I spin everything in a Salad Spinner—especially the pasta, black olives, and artichoke hearts. Extra water will cause the salad to get mushy and gross. But! If you keep everything as dry as possible, your salad will last well into the week.