Italian Pasta Salad
You can use assorted sweet peppers for color and flavor. Be sure to remove all seeds and the inside "rib" before you dice. You can also grill the peppers, if you'd like a more "smoky" flavor.
You can use an assortment of olives or one in particular. Make sure they are pitted. Again, use the best olives that are available to complement your salad.
A quick way to shred (chiffonade) fresh basil is to stack several leaves on top of each other and roll the leaves up like a cigar. Starting at one end, use a sharp knife to cut crosswise into slices.