antipasti salad w/basil balsamic vinaigrette.


aaaaaah.  i really needed that for lunch.  so satisfying.  

i made this lovely salad for a party yesterday, and made it extra large, so that we could keep some at home for us.  i’m SO glad i did that!  i didn’t get any at the party ~ it was devoured before i could get to it.  

it is a beautiful salad, that’s for sure.  and you really don’t need very much dressing.  there’s just so much going on in there.  every bite is interesting.

this is another one of those “kitchen sink” recipes ~ you don’t have to make it the same every time.  sure, there are a few key ingredients that make it authentically antipasti salad.  but you can take this opportunity to get rid of some fridge items hiding in the back.


  • use romaine lettuce.  it’s nice and green, and it doesn’t wilt very easily.
  • add jarred/canned items: a can of artichoke hearts (i like the ones in a can, and in water), roasted red peppers, green olives, kalamata olives, jarred cauliflower or pickled giardiniera.  i always have pickled veggies in my fridge.  it’s a quick way to make your salad interesting.
  • add fresh veggies:  broccoli, shredded carrots, chopped tomatoes, green onion, and whatever else you like.
  • add the meat and cheese ~ lots of mozzarella or provolone, and chopped salami screams antipasti to me!

and here’s the dressing:

  • in a blender, add the juice of one or two lemons, a few tablespoons of agave nectar, a few tablespoons of dijon mustard, a couple garlic cloves, a large handful of basil, and a dash or two of white balsamic vinegar (the white is so that the dressing isn’t a weird, dark color.  but it’s okay to use regular).  add salt and pepper.
  • blend and slowly add olive oil, until you have the desired consistency.  this makes a lot of dressing, so that you have it in your fridge for the next few days.
  • you can add grated parmesan, if you need more cheese!

if you make a big salad like this, you can have it ready to eat for the next 2 or 3 days.  just dish out the amount you want for that meal, and toss with a little bit of dressing.  don’t toss the whole salad in the dressing ~ it’ll just wilt and get slimy in the fridge. 

i’m assuming you know that already!  but just making sure you do.  🙂


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