One advantage to having had a full-blooded Italian step-father was exposure to his full-blooded Italian cooking. In Tony’s family, men cooked many holiday meals, children drank watered-down wine, and holidays were spent mostly in the dining room, slowly consuming course after course.
Tony’s antipasto was a delicious work of art. The edges of the silver platter on which it was served were lined with rolled slices of salami, provalone, and proscuitto, with a big mound of the salad iteslf piled on. I wish I had a picture.
I, being not a full-blooded Italian but a stressed-out, time-strapped American have adapted Tony’s recipe as a quick and healthy lunch that I can easily carry to work.
It starts out with these ingredients:
Artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper strips, sliced salad rings, sliced green olives, sliced black olives, hard (Genoa) salami, mozzerella, vinegrette.
Romaine hearts (I use 2-3), Cherub tomatos. I don’t know if Cherub is the brand or the type, all I know is they are delicious.
So you will drain and mix together two small cans of black olives, plus half a jar each of green olives, artichoke hearts (cut these in half), red pepper strips (cut them into smaller pieces), and pepper rings. My stepfather used tiny little pepperoncinis but I can’t find them anywhere in the South!
To that you will add salami and about a half a block of mozzerella, cut into chunks, and a few cups Cherub tomatos cut in half. Rinse, chop and spin the romaine lettuce. Store it in a seperate container.
When you are ready to serve the antipasto, combine the lettuce with the other ingredients, and add about a third of the bottle of vinegrette.
This recipe makes enough antipasto to feed two for lunch, plus a little scoop for dinner, plus a furtive bite here and there, for at least three days.
It’s not pretty like Tony’s, but it’ll do…portable delight, I tell you!