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Mixed Antipasti Salad

Make in any amount desired

Antipasto means "before the pasta", such as an appetizer. The plural is antipasti. This is not so much a recipe as a list of traditional antipasti from which to build your own first course, party food platter or, scaled down, side dish salad. It is not necessary to use all of the items on this list. Likewise, you could choose other meats, cheeses or marinated vegetables. There are some very good-quality prepared marinated vegetables on the market in jars or in the deli, such as the artichokes, mushrooms and roasted peppers. Or, you can certainly make your own. I have included a basic marinade for the vegetables in the notes below. By the way, I suppose there are still areas where some of these ingredients are difficult to find, especially the Italian meats and cheeses. They can be substituted with whatever you like that is available where you live.

Ingredients

Lay the lettuce leaves on a large platter to form a bed. Roll the meats into cigar or funnel shapes. Place all of the items on the platter in an attractive manner, either center to outside or side-by-side. I would use the marinated and pickled items in between the various meats and cheeses. Think of the colors as you separate. The Parmesan cheese curls can be randomly placed on top of the other items. The platter can be prepared several hours ahead and refrigerated until about 30 minutes before serving, then brought to room temperature.

Notes: If you prefer to marinate your own vegetables, a basic marinade starts with olive oil to which a little balsamic (or red wine) vinegar, oregano and/or basil, salt and pepper are added. Serve antipasti salad some good Italian bread sticks, crostini or bruschetta on the side.