As a kid, I knew mom was making this salad when her order at the West Side Market deli counter contained small amounts of pepperoni, dry salami and ham. Once the salad was assembled, the slices would be carefully rolled and slipped down the outside edges of a clear glass serving bowl, alternating each slice of meat to create a mouthwatering pattern. (I think it’s safe to say my lifelong love of salumi can be traced back to this antipasti-meets-green-salad salad.)
Since this was one of those dishes usually reserved for family get togethers, what else went into the bowl depended on who was coming to dinner. Celery was added for Grandpa Doyle, raw sliced mushrooms (aka mad dogs, really not sure where that came from) were left off and served on the side for Aunt Kathy, and a bowl of whole black olives was included for me (I’m pretty sure more olives ended up on my finger tips than in my salad bowl — either way, their eventual destination was my mouth, of course).
In the same vein, feel free to do the same to make it your own — cucumbers, thin slices of red onion, bell peppers, radish, homemade croutons are all nice additions — just don’t skip the salumi, it’s what really makes this salad special!
The Antipasti-Meets-Green-Salad Salad
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
- 1 small head lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
- 1 carrot, peel and thinly slice
- 10 – 15 (about 4 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halve
- 6 slices (about 2 ounces) assorted salumi (the Prosciutto, Coppa, Salami variety pack from Trader Joe’s is my go-to), cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 – 2 tablespoons sliced peperoncini
- 10 whole black or Kalamata olives/li>
- 1 – 2 ounces cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese, cut into small cubes
- Wish Bone Robusto Italian dressing or your favorite oil and vinegar Italian dressing
- Freshly ground black pepper
Arrange lettuce through cheese in a large salad bowl or individual bowls. Serve with dressing and freshly ground black pepper on the side .