The best salads don’t require a lot of prep but still deliver a variety of flavors and textures. My mother made this side salad for our intimate family 4th of July barbecue. It pared perfectly with grilled kabab and chicken thighs that we stuffed into pita and dressed with prepared tahina and matbucha. Anit pasto refers to the appetizer platter of vegetables, olives, cured meats and sometimes cheeses before a formal Italian meal. I’ve left this recipe parve and provided a list of suggested mix-ins to make it either meat or dairy.
In this take on anti pasto, other than the greens and the cucumbers, all of the ingredients come from either a jar or a can and require very minimal prep. The dressing comes from the vegetable marinades plus a little vinegar and some simple seasoning. It really doesn’t get any easier than that.
There are a myriad of options that can be added or swapped for other ingredients. If you are planning on serving it with a dairy meal, go ahead and add in some crumbled feta (my favorite way to eat it for lunch), or shaved Parmesan cheese. Make it a main course salad by adding grilled boneless, skinless chicken or as a hearty side with cubed dried salami and smoked turkey.
The measurements are for approximately four people for a side salad. Use your personal preference to double or triple or just finish what’s left in the jar or can depending on how big you want the salad to be and what ratio of greens to preserved vegetables you want. The amounts used for the dressing are more than what is necessary for one salad. If you are using a hearty lettuce like Romain or Kale, you can layer all of the salad ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate it up to a day in advance. Just wait to add the salt and pepper and dressing until you are ready to serve it.
Anti Pasto Salad
- 5 ounce bag Romain Lettuce or Leafy Greens of Choice
- 1 Persian Cucumber chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 Roasted Red Bell Pepper from a jar chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup Kalamata Olives
- 1/2 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes packed in oil
- 1/2 cup Marinated Artichokes
- 1/2 Chickpeas from a can, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 cup Sun-dried Tomato Oil
- 1/2 cup Artichoke Marinade
- 1/2 cup White Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Chili flakes
- Feta Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Grilled Chicken
- Marinated Mushrooms
- Grilled Eggplant
- Deli Meat cubed
- Fresh Parsley
- Wash, dry and check lettuce. Place in a large serving bowl.
- Add the cucumber, bell peppers, olives, tomatoes, artichokes and chickpeas.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Mix all dressing ingredients together in a jar and shake to combine. Dress the salad with 1/4 cup of dressing. Reserve the remaining amount for a future salad or to use as a marinade. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.