Welcome, guys, to the Frugal Hausfrau’s Kitchen, where culinary creativity and cost-saving prowess come together in perfect harmony! Today, we embark on a journey through the enticing realms of Italian cuisine with my Favorite Antipasto Salad.
Best of all, we’re going to make this without giving our wallets a panic attack. Hold on tight as we craft an Antipasto Salad that’ll make you say “Ciao Bella!” and all without breaking the bank! If money’s no object, well this salad is still just as good, so let’s get chopping!
About Favorite Antipasto Salad:
It’s been so crazy hot this summer, I find myself not wanting to cook and really not even wanting to eat. Those of you who know me are gonna be shocked to hear that! But just for a minute let’s pretend we’re lounging al fresco on the charming cobblestones of Italy. And we’re surrounded by cool breezes carrying tantalizing aromas.
That’s the essence of an Antipasto Salad. A vibrant medley of flavors, colors, and textures all to tease your tastebuds and keep you and your kitchen cool. My favorite Antipasto Salad is fab as a meal on its own, loaded with protein, but if you prefer, serve it up as a first course prior to any light meal or as a side to something simply grilled.
Making Favorite Antipasto Salad:
This is my Favorite Antipasto Salad because it’s chock full of so many of my favorite ingredients. I shopped wisely, made some items (the marinated artichoke recipe will be coming right up), raided the fridge, and subbed for some potentially pricey ingredients. More about that, below.
The base of the salad is a mix of spinach and kale both sturdy greens that will hold up to the punchy, herby homemade vinaigrette. There’s a dose of chickpeas for added protein and heft. But what really shines are the supporting characters: sweet grape tomatoes, bright marinated artichoke hearts, salty, spicy salami, pungent red onion, and cool, creamy mozzarella.
The simple vinaigrette for this recipe takes just a few quick minutes to make and shake. While you’re at it, you may want to double or triple it. Yeah, it’s that good – and you are gonna want to drizzle it generously! It will keep in the fridge just fine for a week or two if there’s any leftover. Besides, you might find yourself making this salad on repeat until the summer heat fades away. This dressing calls for Italian Seasoning, so I gotta recommend mine! 🙂
Let the Adventure Begin:
My favorite salad has some of my favorite things; now it’s time for you to customize it to your taste and make it your fave!
- The Veggies: Grab a colorful array of veggies. Think bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, cucumbers, and artichoke hearts marinated or not. Raid your fridge and slice, dice, and assemble them in an Instagram-worthy display.
- Get Cheesy wit It: mozzarella, provolone, or Parmesan – it’s time to get cheesy! Grate, cube, or crumble your cheese to add a delightful creaminess to your salad.
- The Deli Delights: This is where the antipasto party gets flavorful! Salami, pepperoni, or prosciutto – the choice is yours.
- The Olive Odyssey: You can’t go wrong with a Green, black, or Kalamata – they all bring a tangy twist to the mix.
- Dressing Discovery: Remember that homemade dressing we mentioned earlier? Drizzle it generously over the salad, letting the flavors unite in a harmonious marriage of tastes.
Storing the Salad:
This is a hearty salad and can be stored for a bit, maybe a day or two, once it’s dressed. Your best bet, though, is to dress only what you’re going to eat immediately and store the dressing and salad separately. The salad should be good for three or four days and the dressing for a week or two.
A sturdy salad like this will be perfect for meal prep. As a matter of fact, it’s really a meal in itself. There’s more than enough protein from the salami, chickpeas, and cheese to fill you up and keep you satisfied.
Saving Money on Favorite Antipasto Salad:
There’s a secret ingredient at work here that I haven’t mentioned yet! It’s resourcefulness. We’re gonna embrace our inner “Frugal Nonna” on a quest to save money while making this scrumptious salad.
- Salvage: Raid your refrigerator and pantry like a boss! Use any leftover vegetables, cheeses, or deli meats. That sad-looking half of a bell pepper? Slice it up! A few lonely olives? Toss ’em in! Get creative and prevent any ingredient from meeting an unfortunate end in the trash.
- Substitute: Don’t be a slave to the recipe! Use what’s on sale or substitute with more budget-friendly options. Opt for salami instead of pricey prosciutto, and know that salami in a casing may be cheaper than deli-sliced. Find a ball of fresh mozzarella and cut it up instead of using pricey little pearls. Grape tomatoes are often less than cherries and a whole tomato, cut, salted, and drained? Even less.
- Bulk it Up: Bulking up your salad with inexpensive chickpeas (other beans can work, too) is a great way to add a little heft and a little nutrition. Canned are fine but ya wanna know what’s even cheaper and better tasting? These Chickpeas with Bay & Herbs.
- Get Thrifty: Check out your neighborhood’s farmers’ market for deals on fresh produce. Watch sales. Shop at your discount stores like Aldi and Lidl. You’ll be amazed at the bargains you can find when you shop well!
- Shop Sales: Let great pricing on fresh items for this salad guide you as to when to make it. Also, remember to pick up pantry items when you see them on sale in a large enough quantity to last to the next sale. Think artichoke hearts, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, and olive oil. You should never have to pay full price on these if you keep a pantry stocked with sales-priced ingredients.
- Go DIY: Bottled marinades and dressings can be surprisingly expensive. Make your own. Your wallet and taste buds will thank you and you’re going to avoid a lot of additives!
- No Waste: Let’s not waste any items. The greens, kale and spinach, can be sauteed for a quick side if there is any left after your salad assembly. Red Onions can be huge! Consider pickling any that’s leftover. Use this classic recipe or this Latin-leaning one. Actually, if you have pickled red onions in your fridge, why not use them here?
That’s it for today, so Bon Appétit! Or as the Frugal Hausfrau would say, “Buon Appetito for Cheap-o!” Embrace the magic of the Antipasto Salad, and you’ll have everyone convinced you’re a culinary maestro with a secret money-saving superpower.
Remember, cooking with a dash of down-to-earth resourcefulness (and a chuckle here and there) is the Frugal Hausfrau’s way! Until next time, happy cooking and even happier saving! Ciao for now! 🍅🧀
Favorite Antipasto Salad
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
- Category: salad
- Cuisine: italian
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 to 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- pinch or two of sugar or drizzle of honey, optional
- pinch of salt & several grinds of freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad:
- 1 (15.5-oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and halved
- 4 cups packed baby spinach & kale
- 4 ounces salami, sliced thinly and halved if needed
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- Red pepper flakes to taste, pinch of salt & several grinds of freshly ground black pepper if desired
For the Dressing:
In a jar, add olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, garlic, and mustard. If using, add sugar or honey. Add red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to taste. Shake well.
For the Salad:
Arrange ingredients on a platter. When ready to serve, drizzle with dressing and toss. Add more red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper if desired.
Keywords: antipasto, Artichokes, Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, Chickpeas, Italian, Kale, Main dish salad, Mozzarella, Red onion, Salad, Salad Dressings, salami, Sausage, side salads, Spinach, Tomatoes