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Antipasti Salad

August 9, 2020

Kris Camealy


Over twenty-years ago, when my husband and I were newly married and living on the emerald coast of Florida, we discovered by accident one afternoon, a small Italian pizzeria, which in turn led to the discovery of what has become my favorite salad to both make and enjoy—the Antipasti. This particular Pizza place (I’ve long forgotten the name of it) had, in my opinion, perfected the combinations of ingredients and flavors that make Anitpasti so delightful. We’d order one to share (it was always a generous portion), and our eyes would nearly roll in disbelief at how the many flavors shocked our tongues awake.

Interestingly enough, that is the point of Antipasti. It is designed to “get people excited for the meal.”[1]

It’s been nineteen years since we left the gulf coast and that beloved little pizza shop near the beach, but I have worked over time to recreate that salad again and again. Every time I make it, I am brought back to those early years of our life together before the kids and the dogs and the moves. I’m not sentimental about much but this salad is a special memory I get to re-live a little with every bite.

Below is the list of ingredients I use to re-create the Antipasti from the beach. You’ll note (and hopefully not be frustrated) that I don’t include the amounts for any of these items, and that is simply because it all depends on how large or small of a salad you’d like to make. Personally, I like to make a large one of these, and the size of my family requires it, but you can just as easily make a smaller version for lunch or something like that.

Antipasti essentially means “before the meal”, but this salad makes an excellent meal to serve alongside some fresh baked focaccia bread, or garlic bread sticks.

Another delightful aspect of this salad is that it can be completely designed to suit your tastes. There is no ONE way to make an antipasti salad!

Here’s what I put in mine:

Romaine lettuce
Artichoke hearts (marinated, chopped)
Black olives (split)
Banana pepper rings
Red onions (thinly sliced)
Genoa salami
Ham (thin sliced from the deli)

Tomato slices
Shredded Italian blend cheese
Red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing

A generous sprinkle of Italian seasoning


Chop all veggies to your liking, I like my onions in nearly translucent rings, and my tomatoes in thin rounds, but I split my olives in half, and dice my artichoke hearts.

For my meats, I layer them together (as if I were making a sandwich, without the bread), then I roll them up and slice them into small rolls. Of course, you can dice or ribbon these however you best like them.

Note: I do not add the cheese or the dressing to the entire salad, in the event that we might have leftovers. Both the shredded cheese and the dressing can make leftovers unappealing, as the cheese can get soggy and the dressing can break down the lettuce.

Mangia bene! Buon appetito!



The featured image and center image are courtesy of Kris Camealy and used with her generous permission for Cultivating and The Cultivating Project.


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