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From the name I’ve given this recipe, you’d expect to see edible flowers or musical notes dotted throughout the bowl, wouldn’t you? Actually, the name comes from the recipe’s original source—the Blossom Seasons Cookbook. The spiral-bound book’s title, in turn, comes from the summer home of the glorious Cleveland Orchestra. Ranked among the top ten orchestras in the world—a fact to which I can attest, having heard the orchestra many times not only at the Blossom Festival, but also at its exquisite main venue, Severance Hall, the Cleveland is a must for lovers of classical music. If you can’t get to northeast Ohio to experience their incomparable sound live (or to Miami, where, like so many snowbirds, they winter in residency), by all means get your hands on one of their many recordings. Or listen on the web via WCLV, Cleveland’s classical FM station. The beauty of listening at home is that you can crank up the sound while you prepare this delicious pasta salad.

I’ve owned this little book for what seems like forever—sticklers for the truth will want to know that “forever” in my chronology harks to the early 1980s. The actual title of the recipe, found on page 32, is “Judy and Ann’s Antipasto Salad.” But since I don’t know who Judy and Ann are, and the world has heard of the Cleveland Orchestra, I’ve taken the liberty of retitling it. The person who contributed this particular recipe to the book appears to be one Marilyn Heinl of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, the one-time assistant treasurer of the Blossom Women’s Committee. Ms. Heinl, wherever you are, thank you for sharing this delicious salad. It’s one of my favorite summertime recipes. I should point out that although the original recipe calls for 3 or more tomatoes, I omit them in my version. (You don’t mind, do you Ms. Heinl?)

Blossom’s Cleveland Orchestra Pasta Salad
—Serves 6 to 8

1 pound small macaroni shells (I use fusilli pasta)
1/2 pound provolone cheese
1/4 pound hard salami
1/2 pound pepperoni
1 onion
1 green pepper
3 stalks celery
1 small can pitted black olives
1 small jar pimento-stuffed green olives
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon crushed basil
1 teaspoon pepper

Cook and drain pasta. Cut cheese, salami, pepperoni, and vegetables into small pieces. Place all ingredients (except tomatoes, if you are using them) in a large bowl. Combine oil, vinegar, and seasonings. Pour over salad and toss. Chill for 24 hours and add tomatoes (if you are using them) just before serving.