Mediterranean Antipasto Herb Pasta Salad Platter was a delicious surprise at our pitch-in birthday fish fry. We guessed Jason, our son, would bring either his special Four Cheese Macaroni or his Antipasto Tray. We didn't care which one because both dishes always seem to magically disappear the minute they hit the table. Would you like to know our recipe for a fantastic birthday fish fry?
Bring a surprise southern Italian style pasta salad
Jason brought neither of those dishes. Our son brought something better, a pasta salad platter that combined our favorite southern Italian flavors -- grape tomatoes, olives, cheese, spicy salami, pepperoncini,fresh herbs, and pasta tossed with a Greek dressing that complemented but didn't overwhelm the ingredients.
Transport the fish and supplies for frying
Now a pitch-in fish fry for a birthday party may seem a little odd, but we wanted to use up the flounder and sea trout in our freezer before we left for the Fall fishing trip. Reid, our youngest son, volunteered to host. We packed the SUV with the fryer, fillets, peanut oil, and the fish coating and headed north to Reid and Lauren's house. We love cooking for the family. The family loves how Honey makes his crispy fish fillets; I've yet to taste any better.
Add a scrumptious onion braid loaf
Since this was a pitch-in my contribution was another Cheese and Caramelized Onion Braid, only this time, I added prosciutto to the filling. It took the braid's flavor up several notches!! I think you
could add just about anything to the caramelized onion filling and it would be outstanding.
Include some spicy chicken wing appetizers
Reid made his Grilled Spicy Chicken Wings. The aroma of the grilled wings and the frying fish was
too much for us. We ended up nibbling on a few of the wings as we waited for all of the fish to fry. 🙂
Bake two delicious desserts
We were celebrating two birthdays. So Lauren, my daughter-in-law, made two birthday cakes, a Strawberry Pavlova and a Salted Caramel Chocolate Poke Cake. Lauren got the idea for the Pavlova when several months ago I shared Alida Ryder's recipe photo on Facebook and mentioned I wanted it for my birthday. The minute Lauren saw my comment she said she'd make it. Oh my goodness, both cakes were heavenly! I'm making them and posting the recipes here.
Mix together for an outstanding fish fry
I never thought I would wax poetic over a pasta salad, but Jason's Mediterranean Herb Antipasto Pasta Salad Platter was outstanding. Now, I agree, I am a bit biased but it wasn't just the scrumptious taste, the presentation was gorgeous. I wonder where he got that talent? 😉
Next time you want a pasta salad, try out Jason's recipe, it is a delight for the eyes and the tastebuds.
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Tutti a tavola è pronto!
Un caro saluto e alla prossima.
Mediterranean Herb Antipasto Pasta Salad Platter
- 1 pound Rainbow Rotini
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
- 8 oz. feta cheese crumbled
- 10 oz. hard pepper salami cut in ⅛" thick slices then into thin strips
- 1 pint kalamata olives ½ of them halved, the rest left whole for around the platter
- 8 oz. of deli sliced pepperoncini this is from a 16 oz. jar
- 12 fresh basil leaves cut into strips
- 1 sprig fresh oregano leaves removed
- 1 sprig rosemary leaves chopped
- 5 sprigs thyme leave removed
- 1-12 oz. bottle Girard's Greek Feta Salad dressing
- *optional rosemary sprigs for garnish
- Make the pasta but leave it slightly under al dente. When the pasta cools add ¾ of the Greek dressing. The pasta will absorb the dressing. Add the grape tomatoes, hard salami, 4 oz. of the feta cheese, halved kalamata olives, sliced pepperoncini, and herbs. Gently mix together. Add the rest of the Greek dressing and let it rest so the pasta can absorb the dressing.
- Scoop the pasta onto a nice platter. Top the pasta with the rest of the feta cheese. Place the whole olives on the platter and garnish with the rosemary sprigs.
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