I Eat Antipasto Twice, Just Because She is So Nice
In case anyone actually does not immediately slip into fight or flight mode and just seek escape the minute they set foot into the blazing heat index of over 110F (or 123F yesterday in Dallas!), the official word is out: stay the Hell inside. Railroad tracks are warping, people. They are warping. You can't even crank up the AC since it would put even more strain on the grid, and a power outage in this weather can actually be fatal. So yeah. Keep those AC's at a reasonable temp.
In these Hellish days, no one wants to be standing over a hot stove, further warming their houses by daring to turn on the oven, or recklessly firing up the grill outside. Enter antipasto to the rescue! Cured meat, cheese, vegetables, vegetables, vegetables... forget having it as a first course, it's the most easily customized and well-balanced meal out there that requires zero to minimal cooking (depending on which ingredients you choose). The only other meal that ranks alongside it is a hearty entrée salad, but there is one thing that tops both. Get this... you're gonna love it... it's so simple it's genius... it's antipasto salad. See, you just take the two and put them together and... no? Not brilliant? Not original? Well, whatever it's freaking good and perfect for a
ANYHOW (I get it, I mean, if railroad tracks are warping think what is happening to our brains... or at least to mine), I made this version based on what I had on hand + the combination of ingredients I like most. The meat can be omitted to make this vegetarian, as can the cheese, and other vegetables can be substituted or added to your heart's desire. Some other classic ingredients might be:
- hard-boiled eggs
- roasted or raw red peppers
- artichoke hearts
- fresh herbs
- roasted garlic
Cue the Louis Prima, pour yourself a glass of wine (or 2... aw what the heck, just get drunk, it feels like 115F out there and you're not going anywhere!), and have a dance party while you're making this. Just be extra careful about having drunken dance parties while handling knives. I assume no responsibility, by the way.
Yield: about 6 cups of salad... 2–3 main dish servings or up to 6 servings as a side
- 4 oz good salami of your choice
- 8 oz fresh mozarella
- 1/2 lb green beans
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 large banana peppers
- 1/4 C oilve oil
- 1/4 C red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the salami, cheese, green beans (ends trimmed from those), tomatoes, and peppers into bite-sized pieces. Again, careful with that knife if you are dancing and/or drinking!
- Bring some water to a boil and blanch the greens beans for about 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water. (Omit the green beans and substitute another vegetable if you don't want to light up the stove at all.)
- Combine the olive oil, vinegar, and oregano in a small jar and shake well to combine.
- Toss all ingredients together.
- It's best if you let it sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to let the flavors combine, but it's also good right away. Top with freshly cracked black pepper just before eating.
- Sit down at the table, put your napkin on your lap, and if you are one to pray don't forget to be thankful that you are not outside smoking a brisket right now—and please, for all of us, ask for an end to the heat wave and for a good, long, slow, and steady rain.
Just in case you've gone this far in life without owning any Louis Prima, I'm making it easy for you. Oh my my!
- Picnics, Parks, and Mamas
- Black Bean Taco Salad with Green Chile-Honey Mustard Dressing
- Mixed Greens Salad with Mini Crab Cakes and Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
- Spinach Salad with hard-Boiled Eggs and Bacon
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