Traditional recipes

Antipasti Hand Salad

Antipasti Hand Salad

To the Hand Salad Haters out there: BYE! Go look at some other recipe! Get your own food website! For those of you still here: Doesn't the idea of spooning a marinated mixture of meaty salami, salty cheese, olives, and juicy tomatoes into leaves of cold, crispy romaine sound, like, delicious?! That's because it is.


  1. Cut 8 oz. cherry tomatoes into quarters. Transfer to a medium bowl, then pour 1 Tbsp. vinegar over. Let sit while you prep remaining ingredients.

  2. Cut 2 oz. salami into small pieces about ¼" thick.

  3. Grate 2 oz. cheese on the large holes of a box grater.

  4. Pit ¼ cup olives, then cut into quarters.

  5. Add salami, Parmesan, and olives to bowl with tomatoes.

  6. Using a microplane, finely grate 1 garlic clove into same bowl.

  7. Add 1 Tbsp. oil and 1 tsp. oregano and toss to combine.

  8. Slice off bottom of 1 romaine heart and divide into leaves.

  9. Serve hearts alongside salad, using each leaf as a boat for the salad.

  10. Do Ahead: Tomato salad can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Recipe by Lauren Schaefer

Related Video

Antipasti Hand Salad

Reviews SectionThis was fine, but a bit liquidy from the tomatoes and the vinegar. The flavor is a bit too punchy for me, I might even the oil to vinegar ratio out a bit more.AnonymousColumbia, SC01/10/20Made this for a game night among friends and boy did it disappear fast. Will definitely be making this again. Maybe with some endive along side the romaine.

Antipasto Salad with Easy Italian Dressing

Try this easy paleo antipasto salad recipe for a quick weeknight dinner. Start to finish it takes just a few minutes—including the simple homemade Italian dressing.

This is one of my favorite no-cook weeknight meals. A little slicing and a quick shake of the dressing ingredients, and dinner is ready. Antipasto salad is hearty and full of flavor—perfect when you don't want to turn on the stove.

What is antipasto salad? This salad has all of the flavors of traditional antipasto—Italian meats and marinated vegetables—on a bed of crunchy romaine lettuce all tossed with a flavorful antipasto dressing.

What is antipasto?

Antipasto, (the plural is called antipasti) when translated, means &ldquobefore the meal.&rdquo Antipasti platters are meant to stimulate your guest&rsquos appetite before they dig into the main meal of the evening.

An antipasto platter could rightly be called a &ldquostarter platter.&rdquo

Antipasto is a flexible course, too. Check out his post for a using the ideas of antipasti in an antipasto salad, instead of on a platter.

If you enjoy having friends over for a wine and cheese pairings, this type of platter is perfect for that event. See my tips for hosting a perfect wine and cheese party here.

This type of platter makes great party appetizers.really tempt them. knock their socks off. Assembling one of these platters can be done in 30 minutes or less , which makes it ideal for a busy schedule when you are entertaining.

The Gardening Cook is a participant in the Amazon Affiliate Program. This post may contain affiliate links. I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you if you purchase through an affiliate link.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (5 ounce) package DOLE® Italian Blend
  • 1 (6 ounce) jar artichoke hearts, packed in water, halved
  • 1 cup DOLE Broccoli Florets, blanched (Optional)
  • 4 ounces light mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 8 strawberry tomatoes, halved
  • 12 large pitted black olives
  • 3 ounces light dry salami, cut into strips
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

Whisk garlic, vinegar, and oil in a small bowl. Add basil, and season with salt and pepper.

Combine salad blends and vinaigrette in large bowl toss to coat.

Arrange salad blend on platter and arrange remaining ingredients around the salad.

Italian Antipasto Salad

The great thing about this salad is you can add or remove the ingredients based on what you like. If you don't like artichoke hearts, leave them out. If you love olives of every color, add more olives. For me, I use large slices of pepperoni, salami, and ham plus fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions. If I had mushrooms and bell peppers I would have added them too. I did have a can of banana pepper rings which add great tangy flavors with the olives. Top off with your favorite Italian style cheese or shredded parmesan.

Chop the romaine lettuce up and put in the bottom of a large bowl. Chop up the remaining fresh vegetables and place on top of the lettuce. Place the canned or jarred veggies on the lettuce as well. Slice up the meat and finish off the salad before adding the cheese.

Toss the Italian Antipasto Salad together. Then top the Italian Salad off with the shredded cheeses. You can toss to combine before making the Italian Salad Dressing to finish the salad.


If there is one thing everyone should learn from this lovely recipe, it's the quick-pickled red onion! What an education.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding "Antipasto" or "Antipasti" (plural). Traditional Antipasto does not contain pasta since Antipasto translates to "before the meal", not to be confused with appetizers. It literally means that the serving of Antipasto is officially the beginning of the meal and you do not leave the table until after the main course. Since the main course was pasta based, it was never added to the beginning or antipasto. This is an important fact to a non Sicilian woman who may want to make a great impression on her very Sicilian in laws! This recipe is very authentic of the traditional Sicilian table. I especially appreciated the addition of pickling the onions which removes some of their rawness and heat. Giardinariera is another traditional element of antipasto since it's a common staple in Sicilian pantries.

There are as many variations on this salad as there are Italian families. My newly wed Italian sister-in-law was a shoo-in when she and her mom prepared this at a family gathering nearly two decades ago. and I STILL remember my first taste of it. This is a fantastic salad and it's a great accompaniment to virtually any dish. It can be tweaked to suit your tastes or availability of ingredients. Freshly shredded Parmesan, salami, mortadella, mozzarella, tiny cooked pasta, hard boiled eggs, etc., are all delicious options. Have it your way. It's ALL good!

This was easy and delicious! I forgot the roasted red peppers and it was still great. The peperoncinis are pretty spicey so I just put them around the edges.

Not only is this salad delicious but it looks beautiful on a platter. I added small balls of bocconcini. I have made this a few times. I think it would be great as an entree with slices of grilled beef or chicken breasts on top.

Served this to dinner guests last night, along with Penne with Shrimp, Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and they loved both. This salad has all the right ingredients, especially if you add salami slices. Go for it!

I made this a few times already and this is a big hit all the times.My large Italian family loved it!The onions were delicious!. I double this recipe every time I make it. Not only did it look gorgeous on the platter, but the easy to make vinagrette was just perfect! This was one of the best salads I have ever made!

Next time, I would not use parsley.

This is the best salad I have had--bar none! Definitely restaurant quality! Takes minutes when onions & dressing are made the day before. Company was impressed. Had left overs the next day- -excellent!

Onion was great and I can't eat raw onion. Easy and appreciated.

Great presentation . added sliced salami and mozzarella. Husband commented that it was like a salad youɽ get at a restaurant. :)

Wonderful recipe. I was a little uncertain about so many jar items, but it was delicious. Included this salad with Christmas eve dinner and it was a huge hit. followed the recipe and everything was delicious. Served with stuffed mushrooms, lasagna and sauteed garlic and zucchini.

Fabulous. I marinated the vegetables with one cup of water only. Also I let them sit for about two hours prior to serving. I combined the vegetables with the romaine and parsley prior to serving. Also used only half of the dressing. PERFECT. Great side dish or a dinner add sliced salami and serve with a baguette.

Made this for the first time for a Fall party. It was fantastic and turned out perfect. The onions made the salad.

Made this "as is" following the recipe, doubing everything, for our grandson's 14th birthday yesterday (he requested this salad). It was the perfect foil served with rich, smokey barbecued ribs and sweet-spicy baked beans. There were no leftovers.

It seems to me that A Cook from California should have just made her own version of Antipasto and given her/himself 4 forks rather than almost completely rewriting this recipe. It was very good and my family enjoyed it tremendously.

Very tasty for a potluck/picnic! If you're not careful, it might turn out to be too sour for you. Here are some suggestions: Use rice vinegar add a bit less salt and a bit more sugar add a bit more garlic taste before adding olive oil. Use a light olive oil too many flavors already. The dressing isn't very special: add some lemon peel and fresh herbs (eg basil) and let the flavors blend before mixing into the salad. For the salad: Add thin strips of pepperoni and provolone. Kalamata olives work well don't try dry-cured. Don't toss at the last minute - let the salad marinate in the dressing toss again before serving.

I love this antipasto salad and so does everyone I serve it to. Be sure to use the fresh garlic and don't skip on the red onions. You can add different types cheese, and meats. I put marinated mushrooms and everyone loves that. I would highly recommend this salad, everyone will want the recipe.

Seems like there could have been more flavor to the dressing. Nice presentation. Great for those who love the ingredients (roasted red peps, artichoke hearts, etc.

Love this salad! I add some tag ends and whatever fresh veggies I have in the refrigerator to this too. Simpe and delish! We will be having this salad after Thanksgiving. I will add chunks of turkey to it along with some fresh cut figs from our tree, some re-hydrated craisins and some chopped dried apricots. This is good to use up any feta crumbles you have too!

I did not make the onions, and instead added fresh mozzarella, sliced fennel, and my own marinated roasted tomatoes (yum!). Absolutely beautiful presentation with all the bright colors, and tasted great, too!

love this salad, though i also add: anchovies, capers, and sun-dried tomatoes and instead of tossing the ingredients together, i lay them out on the plate in rows.

Good concept, but not as tasty as expected. So many sour elements.

This is a great salad as is, and very easy to customize to what you have on hand or your own specific tastes. I loved the pickled red onions they are still sweet and crunchy, but with none of that raw edge that puts some people off. Great for a party!

Loved this salad! It was beautiful & delicious. Wonderful on a hot summer night along side a juicy burger.

  • 8 thin slices good quality chorizo
  • 8 thin slices good quality bresaola
  • 8 thin slices good quality jambon iberico
  • parmesan cheese, broken into bite-size chunks
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • good quality black and green olives, preferably marinated in olive oil
  • smoked almonds
  • parmesan breadsticks, homemade or store bought

Arrange all the gathered ingredients on your serving board or platter. Feel free to have fun and add whatever else you might have on hand or other great antipasti ingredients you can find near you.

Antipasti couscous salad

“I’ve made this dish three times and Danya twice since we shot it for our blog. We’re calling it our best bet for 2014. There’s something about the combination of the ingredients that make it the perfect salad to have on hand at all times. It can be a meal or a side and, if it could only babysit, it would really be perfect. You can use any vegetables for the antipasti, thought I wouldn’t skip the sweet potato because it gives the salad a really nice sweetness. I’ve used broccoli, beetroot and carrot, and they all work great.” Deanna



Skill level


  • 1 eggplant, cut into small cubes
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 2 orange sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into small cubes
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 300 g (1½ cups) wholewheat couscous (see Note), cooked to packet instructions
  • sea salt, to taste
  • handful of coriander (cilantro) or parsley leaves, to serve


  • 2 tbsp tahini paste
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the antipasti, place the vegetables on 2 baking trays lined with baking paper. Drizzle over the oil and bake for 25 minutes or until soft and golden.

Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar. Cover with a lid and shake until well combined.

Place the couscous in a large bowl and top with most of the antipasti. Pour over the vinaigrette, season with the salt, then gently toss to combine.

Scatter with the coriander and serve warm or at room temperature with the remaining antipasti.

• Wholewheat couscous is available from specialty food shops. Substitute regular couscous.

Recipes, photography and styling from Matkonation by Danya Weiner and Deanna Linder.

Rainbow Antipasto Pasta Salad

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This recipe is sponsored by McCormick.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I create an antipasto platter for a gathering, I tend to get a weeee bit overzealous with my spread of ingredients. I want to include so many cheeses! So many olives! So many peppers! So many meats!

Which always means that afterwards, I’m left with…

(Please tell me I’m not the only one with this delicious problem…!)

Well, for any of you other antipasto-lovers who might be looking for a way to make good use of leftover ingredients, today I have the perfect recipe to share with you. It’s this colorful antipasto pasta salad Or as a clever reader on Facebook suggested I call it, antipasta salad. (<– So punny!)

It’s incredibly quick and easy to make, since I’m guessing most of those antipasto ingredients you have are already in bite-sized pieces. It’s incredibly flavorful, with the perfect mixture of sweet and savory and spicy ingredients added to the pasta, plus a simple Italian herb vinaigrette. It’s incredibly customizable, so feel free to substitute in any of your favorite antipasto ingredients that you have on hand. And I must say that I’m especially excited about the fact that it’s incredibly colorful, and will definitely steal the show if you bring it along to a potluck, or just pop it right in the middle of your dinner table at home.

So grab your rainbow of ingredients, and let’s make some.

Simply cook up a batch of your favorite pasta (I went with some tri-color rotini), then rinse it quickly in some cold water to stop the cooking process.

Then while the pasta is cooking, go ahead and chop up whatever antipasto ingredients that you might have on hand. (I used salami, diced cheese, cherry tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, then I also added some leftover kale and red onion to the mix.)

Add everything together in a bowl with your cooked pasta.

And then drizzle on a simple Italian herb red wine vinaigrette. I made mine with this adorable new little Italian Blend Herb Grinder from McCormick, which I’m obsessed with because you all know how often I use Italian seasoning and this makes it all the more fun getting to grind it myself. (They also have Basil, Oregano, and Parsley herb grinders available now — check ’em out!) Then I mixed the Italian seasoning with some extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and a little bit of garlic powder to make a quick vinaigrette, and then drizzled it all over the pasta salad.

(Actually — pro tip here — to soften the kale, I actually added the kale and a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette to the kale first. Then I massaged it with my hands for a minute, which makes the kale nice and dark green and soft and delish. Then I added the other ingredients.)

Then I gave everything a good toss.

And voila! This beautiful rainbow of deliciousness was ready to serve.

I absolutely loved it. And all of the antipasto flavors naturally tied together perfectly, especially when tied together with that simple vinaigrette. All the more incentive to make more antipasto platters when they can be followed up by an equally delicious antipasto pasta salad like this one.

Some First Course Recipes for Your Next Dinner Party

Whole Wheat Fettuccine with Artichokes and Ricotta


  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 9 oz. package frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound whole wheat fettuccine
  • 1 cup skim ricotta
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Freshly grated Parmesan

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and as soon as it starts to sizzle, add the artichokes and lemon juice. Add 1/4 cup water, cover the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the artichokes are tender.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente.

Meanwhile, whisk the ricotta, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of hot pasta water together in a large pasta bowl until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the parsley.

Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the bowl with the ricotta. If necessary, add a little hot pasta water to attain a creamy consistency. Add the artichokes and toss again. Serve immediately with generous amounts of grated Parmesan.

Herbed Italian White Beans

Makes 4 servings.


  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 (14-oz.) can cannellini beans (Italian white beans), drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (2 cups chopped canned plum tomatoes may be substituted)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar or to taste

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sage. Sauté about 2 minutes.

Add drained beans and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir gently to combine. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer about 10 minutes.

Uncover pan and remove from heat. Immediately add basil and vinegar and serve.

Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Pancetta & Spinach

4 servings, about 1 cup each


  • 2 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound refrigerated or frozen gnocchi
  • 10 oz. frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Put a large pan of water on to boil.

Cook pancetta in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add spinach, tomatoes, sugar and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes are almost completely broken down, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and salt. Remove from the heat.

Cook gnocchi in the boiling water until they float, 3 to 5 minutes or according to package directions. Add the gnocchi to the sauce in the pan toss to combine. Serve with Parmesan.

Watch the video: How to Make Italian BRUSCHETTA - Easy Appetizer (December 2021).