I am always looking for new salads. You might want to save this recipe for summer time when the basil is plentiful.

This salad brings back the time when I was cooking for an opera company in Italy.  The fresh ingredients there were incomparable and there was olive oil stored in great barrels in the cellar.  The olive oil came from the trees behind the facility everyone was living at.  It was quite an experience! And there was wine at every meal except breakfast.  The Italians know how to eat!

Ingredients
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
3 sweet peppers, thinly sliced into bite-size pieces
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained, patted
dry and halved
1 8 oz. ball fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces
4 oz. salami, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, 1 lemon
1 cups fresh basil leaves, torn

Instructions
Mix garlic, oil, vinegar, oregano and pepper flakes in a large bowl. Add sweet peppers, onion, artichokes, mozzarella and salami and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit, tossing occasionally, at least 15 minutes .
Zest half of the lemon over salad and add basil, toss to combine. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
This salad can be made a day ahead without the lemon and basil. Serve with a crusty bread.

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