AntiPasto Salad

AntiPasto’s literal translation is ‘Before the Meal’ and is a traditional Italian starter course for meal time.  And I can’t think of a better way to start a meal than with mouth watering cheeses, cured meats and the perfect vinaigrette dressing.  The dressing in this recipe truly makes the meal.  Just the right mix of Balsamic, Olive Oil and herbs send you on the right course for a great meal. 
Personally, I have a hard time remembering whether it is called AntiPastO or AntiPastA.  Primarily because it somewhat feels like a pasta salad without the pasta – aka, AntiPasta.  Either way you want to say it, this salad will be a big hit at your next gathering.

AntiPasto Salad
 

Salad Ingredients:

  • Salami or Summer Sausage
  • Cheese – I used Provolone & Mozzarella –  I’m from Wisconsin and I love cheese
  • Green Greek Olives
  • Artichoke Hearts, quartered
  • Cherry Tomatoes, halved

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 Tbls chopped fresh basil or 1 Tbls dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 Tbls parsley
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup olive oil

Preparation:

  • Dice and chop everything that needs to be broken down (meats, cheeses, tomatoes and artichoke hearts, etc).  Pit the olives if necessary.  Put everything in a large bowl.
  • Combine the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk together.
  • Top the salad ingredients with the vinaigrette and chill together for at least one hour to allow for the flavors to combine. 
  • Serve either on a stick as shown or with a spoon and enjoy!
  •  

Notes:  You can make the vinaigrette a day ahead of time and keep chilled in the fridge.  I also served this minus the mini skewers for a get together at my home.  Left everything in a nice large bowl…and believe me, that bowl was empty by the end of the party.
 

Happy Chopping!!!

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