We're taking an Antipasto Chopped Salad—all the chopped up Italian salumi, cheese, olives, and other pickled and marinated things tossed with shredded greens—out of the bowl and putting all of it, along with its new fresh lettuce family back onto a platter to build an Antipasto Salad Platter.
Consider it a vegetable crudités platter with a little extra density.
Or a charcuterie board gone light.
Either way, the Antipasto Salad Platter is a fun way to graze through the usual delicious little antipasti, and get some fresh crunchy greens dipped in creamy red wine vinaigrette and Anchovy Vinaigrette along the way.
For a slightly different albeit much more indulgent platter for grazing, try the Italian Date Night In Board, which includes some more substantial ingredients like fried ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms, pasta chips, and meatballs to follow the antipasti right on the board. And for an actual salad salad, make the Antipasto Chopped Salad Recipe.
How to Serve Antipasto Salad Platter
Even though "salad" is in the name, it's less of a salad you eat with a fork, and more of a charcuterie board from which you pluck off things, either with small serving forks, or if you're among family, with clean hands. People can pick up whole Little Gem and endive leaves to dip in the vinaigrettes and snap up ruffled slices of soppresata.
Use and board, large platter, tray, or even a baking sheet (like I did in the photo) to serve, and offer small plates and cocktail forks for individuals.
What You Need for an Antipasto Salad Platter
There are so many kinds of antipasto, from cured meats to cheeses to different kinds of olives, marinated mushrooms, and pickled vegetables, it makes this Platter endlessly flexible. This specific platter has:
- sturdy "salad" greens with leaves that work as crudites
- widely available fresh vegetables like cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, celery, and red onions
- canned things like artichokes hearts and chickpeas
- jarred things like olives and peppers
- cheese and salumi
- tangy Red Wine Vinaigrette made creamy so it's dip-able
Antipasto Salad Platter Ingredients Resources
- Little Gem Lettuce: Little Gem Lettuces are their own variety of romaine-like lettuce, they are not baby romaine. I get mine from The Garden Of farm at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, but have seen them at smaller grocery stores like Bristol Farms and Gelson's (Los Angeles). They are not super easy to find, so you can use the smaller, inside leaves of the heart of regular Romaine lettuce.
- Casteleveltrano Olives are medium-sized, bright green olives that are mild in taste. They are also sold bulk in the Olive Bar (where we're never going again after this pandemic) or in jars in the same aisle where regular olives and other pickled vegetables are. Substitute any favorite olive.
- Peppadew peppers are my ALL-TIME FAVORITE THING, sweet, tangy, spicy, round peppers about the size of a ping pong ball. Substitute peperoncini, which have about the same heat, but are not sweet. If you have both, even better.
- Chickpeas: I use this brand of organic canned chickpeas. If you are ambitious and want to cook chickpeas yourself, follow the method for soaking and cooking dried chickpeas in this recipe here. You will make about double the amount of cooked chickpeas you need for this salad recipe. Make hummus with the rest.
- Provolone cheese is an Italian semi-hard cow's milk cheese that is similar to mozzarella, though just a little bit stronger/funkier in flavor. I bought my provolone from the deli counter at Whole Foods Market, but it shouldn't be hard to find in the refrigerated section or the deli of just about any regular grocery store. If you can't find it, or prefer, mozzarella cheese is a good substitute. National brands like Sargento and organic brands like Organic Valley have packaged sliced provolone. This brand even sells a package with BOTH provolone cheese and salami together!
- Genoa salami is a generally non-spicy (heat) Italian-style dry salami. I bought mine from the deli counter at Bristol Farms, but you should be able to find it in packages in the refrigerated section or the deli case of most grocery stores. You can substitute any type of sliced salami for the Genoa. I have even used very thinly sliced pepperoni before.
- Without the provolone cheese and Genoa salami, the recipe is plant-based, so if any of your guests are vegan, serve the cheese and salami on the side where the vegans can't see it.
Antipasto Vinaigrette Ingredients Resources
- Anchovies: This is my favorite brand of anchovies for almost everything. However, they are kind of expensive for a tiny jar (and I ALWAYS RECOMMEND anchovies in jars rather than in tins so you can close with a lid and store). Because the anchovies are going into a recipe that has a lot of other strong flavors for the Creamy Red Wine Vinaigrette, and will be used with salty, vinegary pickled ingredients, you can get away with more affordable anchovies, like these (which I use in cases like this). When making the Anchovy Vinaigrette, though, the anchovies are the star ingredients, so splurge on the better anchovies.
- Dried Oregano: The dried oregano I use for this recipe is the kind that is sold as dried whole stems tied together into a bundle and packaged in plastic bags. I found mine in the "shop" section of a favorite Italian restaurant near me, but you can also order different brands of dried oregano online. If you can't get the Italian oregano on the stems, the crumbled dried oregano sold in small jars is fine!
- Red Wine Vinegar: This is the "every day" organic red wine vinegar I use.
- Mild Olive Oil: If you have one olive oil in your house, by all means use it. However, if you have a choice, use the olive oil with the mildest flavor, even one that is labeled "light." Extra-virgin olive oil might be too expensive to use in a salad in which it will be competing with other fairly strong flavors (fresh garlic, raw onions, vinegar pickled vegetables, hot and spicy peppers). I use this $10-$15 grocery store olive oil as my everyday olive oil, and Brightland as my "special" (i.e. not for this vinaigrette).
- All fresh herbs and produce from either the Santa Monica Farmers' Market on Wednesday, or Whole Foods Market when I can't find what I need at the farmers' market.
Tools and Equipment You Need for Antipasto Salad Platter
- best large size cutting board to both prep and serve the antipasto
- if you don't have a board, use a sturdy all-purpose baking sheet
- favorite all-purpose 7-inch chef's knife (expensive but worth it!)
- favorite multi-purpose small condiment bowls for dressings
- I have a gajillion of these tiny spoons for dips, dressings and spreads on boards
Antipasto Salad Platter Recipe
- 1 Creamy Red Wine Vinaigrette recipe below
- 1 Anchovy Vinaigrette recipe here
for the Platter
- 2 heavy Little Gem lettuce heads cut lengthwise into sixths or about a dozen romaine heart leaves
- ½ head radicchio cut length-wise into ½-inch wide wedges or leaves from 2 endive heads
- 1 pint small cherry tomatoes any color or ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
- 1 avocado sliced
- 4 stalks celery or 2 Persian cucumbers cut into 3-inch long sticks
- ½ cup marinated artichokes
- ½ cup castelveltrano olives
- ½ cup black olives
- ¼ cup peppadew peppers
- ¼ cup peperoncini sliced lengthwise into halves with stems attached
- ¼ cup pickled onions
- ½ can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ¼ pound provolone or mozzarella cheese cut into cubes
- 8 ounces bocconcini mozzarella
- ½ pound Genoa salami + prosciutto
- dried oregano fresh basil, chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
for the Creamy Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 2 cloves garlic grated or very finely minced and smashed with ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 anchovy smashed into a paste
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice juice from half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste (I used an entire teaspoon!)
- ½ cup mild olive oil
- ¼ cup mayonnaise or aioli
Make the Creamy Vinaigrette:
- Shake together the garlic, anchovy, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper, olive oil, and mayonnaise in a lidded mason jar to form an emulsified vinaigrette. Taste for seasoning, and adjust salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed.
Assemble the Board:
- Arrange the lettuce, radicchio, tomatoes, chickpeas, avocado, celery and/or cucumber, artichokes, olives, peppadew peppers, peperoncini, cheese, and salumi on a large cutting board, cheeseboard, tray, or platter. Garnish with dried oregano, fresh basil, and chopped fresh parsley if using.
- Place small bowls with Creamy Red Wine Vinaigrette and Anchovy Vinaigrette alongside for dipping or drizzling.