I have been spending a fair amount of time over these past months at home sifting through tens if not hundreds of thousands of pictures from the past 15 or so years. It’s been a great project for all our “stay at home” time, and I’m amazed by how many pictures I have forgotten about or never posted when it comes to the blog. A couple of years ago I took these quick pictures of one of my family’s FAVORITE summer salads for a crowd before we gobbled it up…and never shared them! This is a super easy antipasto salad platter that is great as a true antipasto, or served on it’s own as a quick meal. It’s especially great during the summer since it requires no cooking and can be prepped in minutes!
An antipasto salad platter is a traditional Italian food item, served as the first course. It usually includes Italian cold cuts, cheeses and marinated vegetables like peperoncinis, artichokes and red peppers. This particular salad is a recreation of one from a restaurant in San Diego that my family has been going to for 40+ years. My Italian family has frequented Pietro’s over the years for nearly every special family occasion.
Pietro’s is run by you guessed it…Pietro. It was originally called Gaetano’s (if I remember correctly that is his brother’s name) but they eventually parted ways and the name changed to Pietro’s to reflect that. Anyways, this salad is not only delicious, but it has kind of a funny story that goes along with it. It comes with rolled mortadella and provolone, and four pieces of Italian salami rolled into a cone shape with an olive in the middle that decorate each edge of the antipasto platter. A few other olives, tomatoes, onions and peperoncinis dot the salad as well, and it has the most divine Italian dressing on it. From the time we were teeny, my siblings and I would anxiously watch when the beautifully prepared antipasto salad platter was brought to the table, and my dad would lovingly and very fairly, divide the rolls of meat and cheese, along with the rest of the salad up onto plates for each of us. Everyone was always watching closely to make sure that no one sibling got more than the other. 😉 When we got old enough that he thought we were able to handle spicy things, he would give us our first peperoncini to try. He loves them and was anxious for us to try them too. It was almost like a coming of age event at dinner. lol! To this day, when we pop in on one of our visits, it is still dad’s job to divide up the salad…even though we’re all grown adults.
This super easy antipasto salad platter is not only gorgeous to look at, but delicious too! You can make as much or as little as you like, so add it to your list of summer salads for a crowd, or just make it for your family for dinner. Serve it along with pizza or pasta, or on it’s own as a filling meal. I like to serve it alongside garlic bread if you’re eating it on it’s own.
Here’s what you’ll need for this antipasto salad platter:
- 2-3 cups chopped Romaine Lettuce
- 2-3 cups chopped Iceberg Lettuce
- 1/2 cup of olives
- 1/2 of a small red onions thinly sliced
- Cherry tomatoes
- 4-6 slices of mortadella
- 4-6 slices of provolone cheese
- 4 slices of salami
- 4-6 peperoncinis
- Italian dressing
- To prepare this antipasto salad platter, simply toss lettuces, tomatoes, sliced onions, and all but 4 of your olives, in a large bowl. Combine and spread out on your serving platter.
- Take a piece of mortadella and lay a piece of provolone on top of it. Roll it jelly-roll style. Once you have your roll of meat and cheese, cut it into 4-5 pieces and lay on top of your salad. Repeat with the remaining pieces of mortadella and cheese.
- Take a piece of salami and cut it just like you would if you were making the first cut out of a whole cake...not a piece of cake, just one cut from the edge of the piece of salami to the middle. Now, shape it into a cone and place it on the corner of your platter. Insert an olive in the middle.
- Garnish your antipasto platter with the peperoncinis and serve either already dressed, or with dressing on the side.
If you'd like, you can add roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, garbanzo beans and anything else you like to this salad. Be creative and have fun creating something yummy!
You can, of course, increase these amounts to fit any size gathering, or if you like more olives etc.
How easy is that?!
I don’t have the secret sauce recipe for the antipasto salad dressing that they make at Pietro’s, but we like to use either Kraft Zesty Italian or the Olive Garden dressing that you can buy at the store. Both are yummy on this salad.
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These are some of my current favorite serving platters that would be perfect for your antipasto salad. Click on any image to shop.
I hope you enjoy this antipasto salad platter as much as my family does! Check out a few of our other favorite salad recipes here, all of them are great summer salads for a crowd too!
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Have a great day!