ANTIPASTO CHOPPED SALAD BOARD with CREAMY RED WINE VINAIGRETTE DIP [recipe]

antipasto chopped salad board white

At this point, is there anything you can’t put on a board? Of course not. But is there anything you shouldn’t put on a board? Many, many things, but a salad presented at crudités, cheese, and charcuterie is probably ok.

ANTIPASTO CHOPPED SALAD BOARD {recipe}

serves 4 to 8 depending

Ingredients

Creamy Red Wine Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Anchovy Vinaigrette (recipe here)

BOARD

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 [recipe here]
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

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

Directions

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.

Suggestion: You can also chop everything and make an actual Antipasto Chopped Salad, on which this Board is based.

antipasto chopped salad BOARD

NOTES and RESOURCES

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. Red Wine Vinegar: This is the “every day” organic red wine vinegar I use. 
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

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