Carl's Killer Confetti Croni – The Salad That Says Summer
This salad tastes best when served outdoors on top of a picnic table.
Nobody loves summer more than me. My homage to it food–wise was to create a summer salad and since I almost consider pasta to be a food group it was certainly a natural palette for my creation. It's fun and has festive bits of color that remind me of confetti. The only cooking involved in this dish is boiling water so I know I am speaking to a large audience of people who can easily make it.
WHAT YOU NEED:
Anellini Pasta (1 pound package)
Sliced Green Olives with Pimentos (about 10 ounces) Drained
Marinated Artichoke Hearts (about 30 ounces) Reserve the marinade juices*
Bell Peppers (1 each Red, Green, Orange Medium Size)
Celery (about 4 large stalks)
Green Onions (about 1 large bunch)
Salt, Pepper and Garlic Salt to taste
WHERE TO START:
Start a large pot of water boiling
Finely dice the Bell Peppers and Celery
Thinly slice the Green Onions (both white and green parts)
Roughly chop the Green Olives and Artichoke Hearts
Add the pasta and salt only when your water has reached a very rapid boil.
A word about the PASTA.
The funnest part about this dish is the little round O's that remind me of the Franco–American SpaghettiO's I ate as a kid. Sometimes substituting pasta makes no difference but with this dish it is just not the same with orzo, shells or any other shape. One brand of pasta that I have found in stores who make Anellini is called Zaffiri. Be persistent and find those fun little O's. It will be worth it.
Some say cooking is 90% prep and this recipe is a perfect example. The key is chopping each ingredient as close as possible to the same size.
The chopped Bell Peppers are ready and stacked up like a traffic signal.
Marinated Artichoke Hearts are soft and should chop easily.
Finely chopped Celery adds a nice crunchy texture.
Be sure to keep the slices thin on the Green Onions.
The Green Olives come sliced but I always put a rough chop on them too.
Here's what all of your ingredients should look like before mixing them into the cooked pasta. Note that everything has been sliced and chopped to about the same size to match the size of the pasta.
It's a lot like a mini salad bar of sorts.
HOW TO FINISH:
Cook pasta per instructions on the package and taste for texture.
Drain the cooked pasta really well in a colander.
Combine all of the ingredients with the pasta in a large bowl.
Add salt, pepper, garlic salt to taste.
*NOTE: If more flavor is needed, add some of the marinade from the artichoke hearts, oil and vinegar or your favorite vinaigrette. Keep tasting, stirring and seasoning until it all comes together and tastes like a picnic. The flavors seem to meld the best after a few hours in the fridge or overnight.
Everybody in the Pool!
The Back Story. My sister, Holly, loves this salad. I always swing by her house with a tub for her. She put out an ice chest on the porch because she had errands and would not be home when I came by for the drop off. The note she left for me kind of says it all about our mutual love for this time of year.
So I hope you enjoy this ode to my favorite season too. My parting shot is of me on my porch taking a big bite with a veggie sausage smothered in grilled onions and peppers. Happy Summer Everybody!
This Photo by www.HowardFriedenberg.com
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