This dish is a cheat in that the amount of attention it gets is over the top considering how easy it is to prepare! It's wonderful on so many levels. It's really delicious. Everyone at your gathering will love it.
It's made by opening containers and jars, draining them, arranging them in pretty piles in a big bowl and scattering some fresh chopped basil. No one knows that the reason I make it, is so that I personally have something good to eat at the party. Even the bowl is part of the design and costs $3 at the grocery store, so I don't have to worry about leaving a crystal dish or losing my Tupperware.
It is my signature dish that I take to every single party I go to - Summer, Fall, Winter, Holiday, Spring. Pay attention to COLOR when you arrange things so you are not putting all the the 'red' stuff together or the two white cheeses side by side. Sometimes the ingredients change depending on the store and what I can find in the area around the deli but here is what is in this bowl starting at the spoon on the left and moving clockwise.
- Marinated mushrooms from olive bar
- Roasted marinated tomatoes from olive bar
- Mozzarella 'pearls'
- Marinated green & black Cerignola olives
- Dweet cherry peppers from an olive bar
- Jar of mild banana peppers
- Jar of marinated roasted sweet red peppers
- Auricchio sharp provolone cut into cubes
- Boars Head dry salami cut into matchsticks
- Kalamata olives from olive bar (in center)
- Newman's Own Original Italian (drizzle over the vegetables only as part of the seasoning)
- Chopped fresh basil
Toss just before serving! Do not allow people to pick and choose, toss the entire mixture to coat with the dressing.