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Are you ready to impress your friends and family with some wonderful Italian-American 4th of July salad recipe ideas?
Italian-American and the 4th of July
If you’re wondering why I would cover Italian salad ideas for American Independence Day, well the t-shirt below (available on Amazon for men, women and youth) sums it up. Amerian Grown, Italian Roots.
Many of us are Italian-American such as both my husband’s family and my own. And while it makes for a fun post, it’s more than that really.LIKE THIS TEE-SHIRT? SEE MORE ON AMAZON!
It is also is important to think about the connection between the meaning of the 4th of July in History and how it has provided so many opportunities for so many, including the Italians.
I’ve decided to share some personal insight into why so many Italian-Americans are proud to be here and call themselves American, including my ancestors and my husband’s. But since most of you are wanting the recipes first, I’ve put them right here and my Italian-American ramblings after below!
4 Italian-American Salads for the 4th of July
I’ve chosen four salad recipes that I use time and time again and have been great successes. These recipes are carefully chosen so you can prepare them ahead of time and keep sealed in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
You’ll find a reoccurring ingredient in each recipe. This actually was not intentional when I chose them for this post. What’s the special ingredients? Kalamata olives! I hope you enjoy these ideas and that you have a wonderful happy 4th!
In fact, many of these types of salads actually taste BETTER after marinating for a day!
So without further adieu, let’s celebrate the day of America’s declared Independence (fyi the signing of the document didn’t happen till the following month on August 6th!), that set the wheels in motion for making this country a land of opportunity for so many!
Recipe #1: Anti-Pasto Salad
For this recipe you take the ingredients (olives, kalamata olives, Italian green olives, artichoke hearts (from a jar), roasted red bell pepper, garlic, olive oil) toss them in a bowl and you’re done!
The beauty of this recipe is that you can modify it to your tastes. Add in some herbs if you want, or use marinated artichoke hearts for extra flavor (I prefer mine plain), skip the roasted red pepper, add in roasted roma tomatoes!PROUD ITALIAN-AMERICAN? SHOP ITALIAN-AMERICAN ITEMS ON AMAZON!
Here’s a fantastic salad that uses this beautiful creamy white bean. The only thing I have to say is when using canned beans, make sure they are really soft. Sometimes when I’ve bought canned cannellini beans and they tasted under-cooked.
This recipe uses similar ingredients to the anti-pasto one. Beans, olive oil, kalamata olives (I find that Green Italian olives don’t taste as good in this recipe), diced fresh tomatoes, roasted red peppers, garlic.
Same instructions – combine in bowl and enjoy!
Recipe #3: Chickpea Italian Salad
This is such an amazing salad! So healthy and will seriously surprise you as to how good the flavor is!
So with this recipe…. another toss and serve…. uses canned chickpeas, scallions, onion, fresh tomatoes, kalamata or black chopped olives, parsley, olive oil, wine vinegar, salt and pep (optional).
This too tastes good even if you make it the day before. In fact I think of all the recipes, this one tastes best when it marinates for at least a few hours.
Recipe #4: Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Kalamata Olives
With this recipe, we use kalamata olives again. Yes, I love these olives!
Just like the other recipes this recipe uses the same basic ingredients but uses sun dried tomatoes instead of fresh. Add some capers, the olives, garlic, parsley, oil and balsamic vinegar and toss with the pasta.
In this recipe, the pasta can be served warm or cool.
PROUD ITALIAN-AMERICAN? SHOP ITALIAN-AMERICAN ITEMS ON AMAZON!
The Proud Italian-American (not the mob)
My husband’s mother and my grandparents came over to the US to have a better life. My mother-in-law still has the newspaper clipping of when she became an American citizen.
She was in Italy when German soldiers were attacking her village. She was 8 years old and she saw and experienced levels of fear many of us will never know.
Her father died during the Spanish leaving her mother to care for three little girls. One she secretly sent away to prevent the soldiers taking advantage of her, to put it politely.
The Land of Opportunity Meant the Opportunity to Proudly Work Hard
Both his mother and grandmother and my grandparents didn’t speak English when they set foot on this soil. My mother-in-law took a bus to work and had to count the number of stops b/c she didn’t understand the driver or know how to read the signs.
They worked hard. My grandfather sold grapes traveling from Boston to NJ. He was also a stereotypical Italian punk. My father is one of 9 children, 13 in total but some died very young. There were prejudices they had to fight against and endure, but they didn’t give up.
Anyhow, the stories are many.
This would never be the case if America itself did not claim its independence from the British. Just as our ancestors left Italy, early Americans left England.
Declaring our independence not only declared a new life for those who started this country, but it allowed future generations to come to a country that enabled those looking for new opportunities to have a better way of life.
Being a citizen here is an honor. The ones who came here and worked for a better life, not expecting any handouts, but an opportunity to work and be PROUD to be a part of this country.
That’s why the 4th means so much, especially to the Italians like those in mine and my husband’s bloodlines, and maybe yours too!
Ciao and Happy Independence Day!