Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Taste of Summer 2015

This deli-bought penne salad with grape tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella balls has been one of this summer's small pleasures.  I have tried to replicate the taste by looking at the ingredients list on the deli label and at various recipes online, but the store-bought version still beats them all.  So far.  It seems like keeping it simple would be the way to go here, but the dressing and cheese mixture are evidently more complex.  Waistline-wise, it is probably for the best that I'm as yet unable to make up a big batch of this here at home.  This portion was my supper tonight, with a chickpea salad on the side, and my ever-present iced tea with lemon.  Ah!  So good! 

6 comments:

Blondie's Journal said...

Looks so yummy, Val! Sometimes the key to the tastiness of deli salads is that they have time to 'meld'. Try making your salads the night before or a few hours before you serve them. Give them a toss or two every now and then. Like a good wine--they need a bit of aging! :)

Jane x

Val said...

Thank you, Jane. I gave it a day, with occasional stirs, this last time, but maybe it needed still more time. We'll see. :) And then complain here when my clothes start to feel tight after I've figured out this recipe's secrets. :).

Enjoy your weekend!

Marie Rayner said...

That does look very good. I am curious as to the dressing. Was it pesto like? xoxo

La Table De Nana said...

You have to tell us more..maybe we can help..could be so many things..is it more vinegary..or oily or cheesy..pesto..y..salty..definitely dried spices...Italian..Greek..tell us more sweetie.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

it looks delicious!

Val said...

If I could travel with it, I'd bring you some, Sandra. :)

Marie and Monique, no, not pesto-ish, and I added the dry basil--It doesn't come with it. There is an ingredient list-label, and I'll have to post it here soon--I didn't realize, I guess, that you all would be this interested in this recipe-mystery. :) The deli person said they use basil-infused olive oil, not olive oil with basil added, so there's one big tip. I know it has Romano cheese in it, although it seems almost strong enough to have feta in it too, although I don't think it does. It has no actual basil--nothing green in the salad at all (just the dry basil I add for color). It's cheesy and a bit tangy, and not soupy with dressing--I hate it when there's too much dressing on any salad--and I remember the label mentioned garlic and lemon juice. I've tried it a couple ways but without the basil-infused oil, thinking--I guess mistakenly--that fresh basil would surely be better, so the basil oil may be a future purchase. (It's just expensive!) Like I said, I tend to think simpler's better with food, and there are so many similar recipes online that call for just a splash of olive oil over penne, tomatoes, and fresh basil, but I've had salads like that and think they're just okay. THIS salad just SENDS me. I love it. I usually don't eat a ton of pasta, so maybe it's for the best that I haven't changed my ways by figuring this one out yet. :) (I tried it with gluten-free pasta too, and the taste was all wrong that way.)