Spring is in the air! Let’s whip up a super fresh, crisp antipasto salad recipe for a tasty starter before dinner. Veggie-packed and delish!
I’ve honestly never met a person who doesn’t enjoy this salad. Filled with sliced meats, soft cheeses, fresh and pickled produce… what’s not to love? It’s the ultimate Italian indulgence. I toss this all together with a freshly squeezed lemon-infused dressing and the end result is just… oh my. Gimme! Need some other spring produce inspo? Make sure to check out my Chicken Cobb Salad with Dill-Dijon Vinaigrette (video included), these bowls of Cream of Celery Soup, and this Rustic Toast with Crème Fraîche and Heirloom Tomatoes (hello, breakfast goals!).
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED FOR THIS ANTIPASTO SALAD RECIPE:
I’ve kept things simple in this recipe so feel free to add your own flair! Craving sliced mushrooms? Go for it. Want to add some spicy-goodness with fresh or pickled jalapeños? I’m all in! Here’s what I used:
- Chopped Romaine: This is the base of the salad. Crisp and refreshing.
- Jarred Roasted Red Peppers: Adds slight a slight amount of heat, but not too much.
- Garbanzo Beans: I personally enjoy the extra texture and flavor!
- Sliced Pepperoni: You can use regular or turkey for lighter occasions. You can leave them whole, or cut them in half.
- Diced Provolone Cheese: I love the flavor profile in this variety. However, substitute, if needed, with whatever you have on hand!
- Pepperoncini Peppers: I did a bunch of recipes for Mt. Olive Pickles and I’m officially obsessed. YUM.
- Red Onion: If these are too bold for your likings, you can pickle them, leave them out or sub with milder green onions.
- Cherry Tomatoes: I like to cut them in half because… well, they’re pretty.
- Fresh Mozzarella Pearls: If you can’t find the smaller pearls at your local grocer, go ahead and buy a fresh larger ball and chop into bite-sized portions.
- Artichoke Hearts: Growing up in California, I ate these in all forms. Freshly grilled, jarred, canned… they’re a great addition!
- Black Olives: Super easy to add, simply grab a can that’s already been sliced, drain and plop on top!
- Salami: Slice into cubes and you’re good to go! One of my favorite meats for salads, sandwiches… or simply on the go by the slice!
- Fresh Herbs: I enjoy basil in this recipe, but thyme, oregano, and Italian parsley taste wonderful as well!
HOW TO MAKE THE DRESSING:
I’ve whipped up this lemon vinaigrette for as long as I can remember. It’s made with ingredients that I always have on hand and the flavor pairs well with just about any salad. Simply whisk together fresh lemon juice, olive oil, diced shallot, salt and a tiny sprinkle of sugar. Sometimes I’ll grate-in some lemon zest, add a squeeze of dijon mustard and fresh (or dried) herbs for extra oomph. Toss everything together right before serving and you’ll be a happy camper.
Of course, you can also use a store-bought dressing of your choice. However, I promise you’re gonna love this one listed here! I honestly make it at least once a week.
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
- 2 cups Chopped Romaine
- 3 tbsp. Jarred Roasted Red Peppers
- ½ cup Garbanzo Beans
- ½ cup Pepperoni, sliced in half
- 6 oz. Provolone Cheese, diced into cubes
- ¼ cup Pepperoncini Peppers, drained
- ¼ small Red Onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
- 4 oz. Fresh Mozzarella Pearls, drained
- ½ cup Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped
- 2.25 oz. Sliced Black Olives, drained
- 8 oz. Genoa Salami, cut into cubes
- Fresh Basil, as needed
- ½ Lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- ½ - 1 shallot, finely chopped
- Pinch of Salt, season to preference
- Pinch of Sugar, add as needed to balance acidity
- 1 tbsp. Fresh or 1 tsp. Dried Herbs, to preference
- Add all salad ingredients to a large serving bowl.
- Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad right before serving. Toss gently to combine.
NOTES ON THIS RECIPE:
- Need to make this ahead of time? No problem! Simply prep all ingredients up to two days in advance and store, refrigerated, in separate containers. When you’re ready to serve, pour them out onto a platter, drizzle on the dressing (make sure to whisk it up again!) and enjoy.
- Need to feed a hungrier crowd? Add 8 oz. of cooked and cooled pasta! I like rotini noodles, as some of the dressing nestles up within the ridges.
- Not a fan of black olives? Try green! They’re buttery, milder in flavor and taste phenomenal in this recipe. Heck, do a mix of both black and green if that tickles your fancy!
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