If you are the sort of person who believes that a cheeseboard can stand in for a full meal at most occasions, then this Antipasto Salad will be to your taste. And, might I add, your taste is excellent.
This recipe is sponsored by DeLallo.
Antipasto is the traditional first course of an Italian meal. It usually includes a mix of assorted cured meats like prosciutto and salami, cheeses, and marinated vegetables like artichokes and red peppers.
My personal antipasto definition: BEST THINGS IN LIFE.
This Antipasto Salad takes classic Italian starter items, piles them atop crisp greens, then pulls this tasty situation together with a simple balsamic vinaigrette.
Like a good cheeseboard, this Antipasto Salad makes friends wherever it goes. It’s perfect to take along to potlucks, quick to pull together for a speedy side, and makes for a breezy and satisfying no-cook summer dinner (this Italian Chopped Salad is another great option).
Just about the only way I can imagine improving this Antipasto Salad is by washing it down with a glass of crisp wine.
Ready for your new go-to summer salad? Need a recipe for the Fourth of July? Looking for an especially elevated excuse to turn a cheeseboard into dinner? Antipasto Salad is the recipe for you!
How to Make the Best Antipasto Salad
Like traditional antipasto, the success of Antipasto Salad relies on its ingredients.
Choose good-quality ingredients and arrange them with care, and you’ll be rewarded with a dish that is so sublime, you’ll wonder if it’s ever worth cooking again.
When I’m seeking quality, DeLallo is the brand I come back to consistently. For years, their whole wheat pasta—which has a fantastic, true al dente texture—has been my go-to in our favorite pasta recipes. I’m also a superfan of the antipasto selection. Every item is meticulously sourced, and you can taste the attention to detail in every bite.
Antipasto Salad is more of a choose-your-own-adventure framework than an exact recipe.
Start with a base of crisp chopped romaine and peppery arugula. From there, you can pile it high with your antipasto favorites in whatever ratios make your heart (and tastebuds) sing. For me that means:
- Prosciutto. Silky and salty, this is always the first item on my antipasto board to disappear.
- Salami. Everyone loves it (including me!).
- Olives. A little briny. A lotta salty. I struggle with commitment and like a medley of olives here, but feel free to stick with just one if you have a preference. Do not use the olives from a can; while they have their place (supreme pizza), they don’t cut it here.
- Marinated Artichoke Hearts. To lighten things up.
- Roasted Red Peppers. Colorful and sweet.
- Feta. Big shavings of Parmesan or mini mozzarella pearls would be super yummy too.
- Cherry Tomatoes. Bright and juicy, they bring the salad balance.
Once you have your salad assembled, it’s time for the dressing!
I use an all-purpose, never-lets-me-down combo of:
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Bust out the good stuff. Its flavor will shine.
- Dijon Mustard. A squeeze helps the dressing emulsify.
- Garlic. To make the salad vivid and lively.
- Aged Balsamic Vinegar. I recently switched to using a thicker, better-quality balsamic vinegar in my dressings, and now I’m wondering why I wasn’t doing this all along. The flavor is noticeably more well-rounded and pleasing, without being harsh or acidic.
Serving Antipasto Salad
You have two basic options for arranging and serving the Antipasto Salad. I love them both for different reasons.
- Antipasto Salad Platter. This is what I decided to call the presentation when you leave each ingredient separated in the bowl. It’s striking and shows off each element individually.
- Antipasto Salad Misto. Misto means “mixed” in Italian, and that is just what this Antipasto Salad presentation does. After topping the salad with the antipasto ingredients, give everything a big toss to combine them all together.
While I’ll happy devour this salad both ways, the misto approach is the one I prefer.
Socially, a mixed Antipasto Salad is easier for serving a crowd. Your guests can serve themselves freely without worrying about taking more of one topping than another.
Selfishly, I love that the mix ensures every forkful is easily loaded with the full range of tasty antipasto toppings.
Antipasto Salad—Dietary Notes
- This antipasto salad is low carb. If you want even fewer carbs (or were looking to make a keto antipasto salad), you can switch up the antipasto ingredients you add, maximizing low-carb toppings and minimizing toppings with a higher count.
- For a vegetarian antipasto salad, add extra veggies. Replace the meat with a can of rinsed, drained chickpeas.
- For Antipasto Salad with pasta, toss the salad with 8 ounces of cooked whole wheat pasta noodles. Make extra dressing and drizzle it over the salad to moisten as needed. (You might also love my Pepperoni Pasta Salad!)
Bright with Italian flavor and ingredients, this recipe superbly combines light, fresh elements like romaine and cherry tomatoes with rich, satisfying ones. You’ll want this sensational salad at your side (and on your plate!) all summer long.
FOR THE SALAD:
- 2 hearts romaine lettuce chopped into bite-size pieces (about 7 cups)
- 4 ounces baby arugula leaves about 4 cups
- 4 ounces DeLallo Genoa Salami quartered lengthwise, then cut into bite-size pieces
- 4 ounces DeLallo Sliced Prosciutto chopped into bite-size pieces
- 6 ounces DeLallo Marinated Quartered Artichoke Hearts drained and patted dry
- 1/2 cup DeLallo Pitted Seasoned Olive Medley about 3 ounces
- 12 ounces DeLallo Roasted Red Peppers drained, coarsely chopped, and patted dry
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Chopped fresh parsley, basil, chives, or a combination
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 1/4 cup DeLallo Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In an extra-large bowl, place the romaine and arugula. In a small bowl or measuring cup, make the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper until smoothly combined (or put all of the dressing ingredients in a mason jar, seal, and shake to combine). Pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. The leaves should be lightly moistened.
- Arrange the salami, prosciutto, artichokes, olives, red peppers, and tomatoes on top of the greens. Drizzle with a bit more dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with feta and parsley. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for 1 hour prior to serving.
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I am sharing this post in partnership with DeLallo. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to create quality content for you!