I love food. And there are some foods that bring back sweet memories for me. A beautiful antipasto is one of them. (Yes, I just described an antipasto as 'beautiful') The array of Italian meats and cheeses, the colorful tomatoes, carrots, and zucchini, the tangy marinated artichoke hearts and pop of garbanzo beans that add texture to the tray? Oh, yes, My Friends. SWEET MEMORIES. Well, I wanted to try something a little different; something easy with less fuss, and something that would taste like that beautiful memory, while creating a new one. THIS?? This is GENIUS. It has all the antipasto flavors, resembles a lasagna, and tastes like a slice of heaven.
ANTIPASTO SALAD STACK
1/4 pound sliced salami
2 carrots, ribboned
1/2 head Romaine lettuce, shredded into ribbon-like pieces
1/4 pound smoked provolone cheese
1/2 container grape tomatoes, quartered
1 large zucchini, ribboned
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, juice/oil reserved for dressing
home-made balsamic (or your favorite store brand)
1/4 pound sandwich-sized pepperoni
1 jar garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
juice/oil reserved from jar of artichoke hearts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
parsley, chopped, for garnish
In a square baking pan, layer salami, carrot ribbons, and Romaine ribbons, On top of that, layer the provolone cheese grape tomatoes, zucchini ribbons, and artichoke hearts. With a light hand, barely drizzle the balsamic dressing over this layer. It is now time to layer the pepperoni, garbanzo beans, and red onion (see notes). For the final layer, place your mozzarella cheese on the top, and then gently-but-firmly press down on the entire salad stack. Cover with foil or non-stick cling wrap and place in the fridge. At this point, you will need something heavy to place on top - I used my gallon of milk, which fit perfectly into the square pan. Let this sit for at LEAST an hour. Meanwhile, mix your dressing ingredients and refrigerate as well. When ready, slice CAREFULLY into squares - oh-so-carefully so as not to disturb the meat layers and have them slide around. Take your spatula and plate one of those beauties. Pour your dressing on top and garnish with the parsley. A knife and a fork helped me put each bite into my mouth while keeping the layers in tact. And oh! The MEMORIES!
NOTES: You can substitute any deli meat and cheese you like, as well as the veggies. TOTALLY replaceable with whatever you like! It's also low-carb for those of you that care about that part. They key here is the stacking and pressing. Also, my Aunt Frannie said if you are one of those people that don't like the bite in the red onion and want to take it out, soak it in cold water for ten minutes after slicing.
Want to see how easy this was in real-time? Click HERE to see!