It feels like it has been a while!! Last month I didn’t post directly to my blog, because I didn’t work on a recipe. I was very excited to branch out and do a written (strictly opinionated) blog that got posted on another wonderful blog… you can see the blog and my post at TheTaylorHouse.com!!
I think every year and every season I pick my favorite recipe and make it my go-to dish of the season. For this months recipe I’m focusing on my top pick for the summer, with my Allergy-Free Antipasto Salad. This has gone over very well at BBQs and family gatherings. And, if you haven’t worked a lot with fresh herbs, this is a nice recipe to get your toes wet!!
Most Anitpasto recipes have cured meats, fresh vegetables, a few cheese selections and get tossed in a fresh herb and oil base. I grew up in an area where people would often add some sort of noodle to the dish too. I LOVED seeing this dish at BBQs as a child, so I was happy to recreate it successfully!
The base to my recipe is tomatoes and cucumbers. I love the look of cutting either cherry or grape tomatoes in half and they make great bite size pieces. Also, I would look for seedless cucumbers- although any kind you can get your hands on will do fine. Seedless is just a preference 😉
Then to add a little more flavor or heat, I like to mince a small portion of a red onion. As far as for onions go in this dish, you can take it or leave it. I have made it both ways and love it both ways! The key with this is to know that this is a dish that will sit in the fridge to marinate, and when it DOES have the onion, the longer it sits- the stronger it gets! Which is also why I choose to only add a couple tablespoons. No need to overpower the other ingredients with too much onion.
Another source to bring in some heat are these Natural Uncured Mini Turkey Pepperonis that I found, made by Applegate. We LOVE that this company provides quality meats that are free of allergens that are found in most similar products!! If you’re not a turkey person (although I think you should certainly try these) NO PROB! Applegate makes a few pepperonis that are all worth the try!! We use the minis for this dish because of their size. I stack a bunch of them up and then slice them right in half. The size is perfection!
Now for the fresh herbs— BASIL! If you could see me talk you would see my hands going crazy (especially when I am passionate about something)… this is the Italian in me:) And basil is the best herb for an antipasto dish! The recipe only needs a few large leaves- if you have your own, GREAT! If not, they sell fresh herbs at the grocery store in the produce section. Just peel a few leaves off, and gently rinse them off under cool water. Then stack the leaves on top of one another and roll them up tight. Next, carefully slice the roll into thin pieces. Once they unravel, they will be long and skinny. Add them into your antipasto along with some fresh squeezed lemon juice, sea salt, and EVOO, then stir!
You can eat this right away or cover it and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours- or even the night before a BBQ!! Whichever way you choose, I hope you really enjoy this like we did!! Happy, SAFE eating!!
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes- halved
- 2 hot house cucumbers- peeled and cut
- 1 pack safe Pepperonis- halved
- 1 Tablespoon minced red onion*
- 3-4 basil leaves- rinsed and sliced
- 1 Tablespoon EVOO
- sea salt
- Juice from one lemon
- Combine all ingredients and toss. Store in the fridge in an airtight container until chilled, then serve!