Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Salads.......Italian Style

I know that there are a lot of recipes out there for pasta salad and potato salad, especially this time of year.

And I know that a lot of them are called Italian pasta salad.....I have never seen one for Italian potato salad.

I think mine are different.

I have been making the pasta salad for about 30 years and it is really good, without using bottled, flavor-enhanced-with-preservatives Italian dressing. This one has a fresher, lighter dressing.

The potato salad is Italian/Puerto Rican and has been my favorite for the past couple years. The olive oil and the "a little of this-a and a little of that-a" ingredients make it Italian; a Puerto Rican friend made it up and shared her recipe with me!

I will start with the pasta salad, which has some a little of this-a and a little of that-a......

Italian Pasta Salad
(Make this recipe in enough time ahead of serving for the flavors to marry, up to a day before)

1 (16 oz.) box of tri-color pasta or pasta of your choice
1/2 cup romano or parmesan grated cheese
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
handful of sliced black olives
handful of pepperoni slices, quartered
handful of grape tomatoes, halved
broccoli crowns, chopped
8 oz. chunk mozzarella, cut into small chunks
fresh basil to taste, chopped or 1 tablespoon dry basil

Cook pasta according to package directions. Add romano, oil and vinegar. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Refrigerate till served.

Italian/Puerto Rican Potato Salad
(this salad also tastes best a day or two after it is made)
Russet potatoes
hard boiled eggs
olive oil (use the good stuff - the 100% Virgin Olive Oil - it has the most taste)
salt and pepper to taste
Peel, chop and boil enough potatoes for the amount of people you are serving. For my husband and I, I use 4 large russet potatoes to two hard boiled eggs. I put the eggs in with the potatoes and let them all boil together. I just time the eggs for 10 minutes when the water is boiling and then pull them out when done.
Cook the potatoes till soft and drain. Chop the eggs and add to the potatoes. Add seasonings. Mix together using a pastry blender or large fork. Add mayo ( I used 3/4 cup) and then add olive oil. Either drizzle it or pour it in until you taste it in the salad (that means you have to keep taste-testing!)
Keep mixing till it is the consistency you want....either smooth or with a little bit of chunk. I think this recipe tastes best smooth but my husband likes some chunks so here is my finished salad.....kinda looks like chunky mashed potatoes!
Refrigerate for several hours before serving. I like this best a day or two after it is made. It is so good! It is a nice change from the typical potato salad.

I know we can all get caught up in the rut of making the same pan of beans, pasta salad and potato salads all summer for dinner and as a dish to pass for all the picnics we attend. They are summers' comfort foods and they keep us feeling like it's summer and in our comfort zone.

I don't think you will be disappointed if you try my version of the two most popular summer salads.....

You will still be within that zone.....

AnnMarie :)

Linking up with these great blog hop parties this week....

Let's Get Social Sunday
Sweet &Savoury Sunday
The Bouquet of Talent Linky Party
My Favorite Post Showoff Weekend Blog Party
Marvelous Mondays
Raising Imperfection Sunday Link Party
Tasty Tuesdays
Tuesday Trivia
The Scoop
What's It Wednesday Link Party
Adorned from Above
Meet & Greet Blog Hop
Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop
Strut Your Stuff Saturday Link Party
Flusters Creative Muster


  1. I've never ever made potato salad like that - I'm intrigued!

    Thanks for linking up!

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

  2. I'm adding that pasta salad to my repertoire! Visiting from the blog hop; come see me at

  3. That pasta salad sounds like something I would like to eat, I like that there's broccoli in it, one of my favourite vegetables.

  4. I'm not sure about the Italian/Puerto Rican Salad but the Italian Salad is similar to one I make! Kindred spirits in the Kitchen :)

  5. This is one of the few "salads" I will eat :)

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  6. Oh I love pasta salads! I will have to give yours a try :) Thanks for sharing and have a lovely week!

    Hugs to you!

  7. Oh yum, both look delicious!

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection! We appreciate you taking the time to link up, make sure to check back on Friday when we feature out favorites.

  8. yum that potato salad really looks great!

  9. Hi, this pasta salad looks so good. I saw it on tasty tues.
    Julie from

  10. Italian & Pasta... two words that should go together. This looks delicious! Found you on Anyonita's Tasty Tuesdays.

    Lori's Culinary Creations

  11. OMG...that Italian Pasta Salad looks amazing! It is the first one that I have come across that doesn't use a bottle of dressing :) Even my own recipe uses dressing...LOL

  12. Looks delectable! Would looovvvveeeee to try them out!

  13. This looks like a pasta salad I would like - it has lot's of veggies! Your potato salad reminds me of my mother's except she added dry mustard, onion and yellow food coloring (I guess to bring out the fact that there was egg and mustard).

    Thanks for sharing - your recipes always look yummy!

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  15. oh yummo!! These sound amazing! I agree with Luella . . .I love all the veggies. I am bookmarking your blog so I can add these recipes to my recipe file. Thanks so much for sharing :)

  16. Great recipes -- sounds dumb but I would never think to cook the eggs and potatoes together.

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  18. Your salads are very similar to mine....except for a few minor things. I also like to make my pasta salad with my own dressing and I also add the black olives. I think the pepperoni would be a good change for me. I usually add marinated chopped artichoke hearts. The marinade helps blend in another flavor to the dressing. I also make potato salad by boiling my eggs with the potatoes. My Mother did it so I do it too! :) She also added celery seed to hers which gives it a little teeny weeny kick.

    Both of your salads look YUM YUM YUMMY! Thanks for sharing!

  19. I love having salads for lunch and dinner in the summertime. No heating up the kitchen - dinner is in the fridge - ready to go - it gets better every day - what could be easier? Thaanks for sharing your versions.

  20. The pasta salad look so yummy! I'll have to try the recipe sometime. The potato salad looks similar to mine, but I don't use olive oil instead I use mayonnaise. I also use a little sweet relish with a hint of seasoned salt and pepper.

  21. What a yummy looking salad...thanks for stopping by with your lovely comments. I am following you on G+, too!

  22. Both sound so yummy! I think I'm partial to that pasta salad, oh boy! Thanks for sharing these great recipes.

  23. I like the sound of that hearty pasta salad. Not sure about the mashed potato though...

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  25. Hi Ann Marie! They both look great, but I vote for the pasta one, my Italian husband will love it! And I will celebrate it with a little glass of wine too.

    Love the pictures :)

    Happy Friday,


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