Monday, March 16, 2009

what to do with antipasto leftovers

Sometimes after a party you end up with a lot of little edible odds and ends usually left over from the pre-dinner snacks. A handful of olives, the end of a wedge of cheese, a few salami slices. Normally this stuff gets gobbled up the next day around our house, but what if you could make a meal around those leftovers?

A few weeks ago, while racking my brain for some dishes to make this week, I reached for an old copy of Food & Wine containing their 30 best fast dishes. (Thanks again, Mindi for this issue!) I haven't quite made my way through the whole list, but I'm almost there. And I can pretty much guarantee that you really can't go wrong with any of them. It really is a fantastic bunch of recipes, and as promised, they are all pretty quick and easy.

In the story, a photo of a platter of lettuce with a bunch of interesting toppings caught my eye: Nancy Silverton's antipasto salad with bocconcini and green-olive tapenade. It sounded like exactly the thing to eat that night while watching the final game of All-Star weekend. Like an antipasto platter with the illusion of being healthy. Does lettuce ever really healthify anything?

I had to buy a few things like bocconcini and the tapenade but I had a lot of the ingredients already—all pantry staples or dinner party leftovers. You could easily adapt this recipe to use up any other little bites lingering in the fridge: trade out the mozzarella for another type of cheese (feta, maybe?), substitute any fresh herb for the basil, or use whatever meat you may have on hand in place of the salami (proscutto would be great in this).

Antipasto salad
Extra veggies would be a nice (and healthy) addition to this. I threw in a few handfuls of grape tomatoes, but I think next time I'll add some thinly-sliced raw fennel, and maybe a diced green pepper.
(Serves about 4 people)

3 Tbsp. green-olive tapenade from a jar
1/4 cup peperoncini—stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups bocconcini (about 9 ounces)
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small head of iceberg lettuce, halved, cored and finely shredded (I used romaine pre-cut in a bag)
6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) thinly sliced Genoa salami, cut into thin strips
6 basil leaves
1/2 cup olives

In a medium bowl, mix the green-olive tapenade with the peperoncini and 1/4 cup of the oil. Add the bocconcini and toss. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the vinegar, garlic and oregano. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, combine the shredded lettuce and salami. Add the marinated bocconcini and half of the dressing and toss well. Transfer the antipasto salad to a large platter. Top with the basil and olives. Drizzle the remaining dressing around the salad and serve at once.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I love this salad. It takes my favorite things--cheese and charcuterie--and turns them into a whole meal. And a relatively healthy seeming one, too!


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