September 6, 2020 by Nicole Collins
I want to celebrate all the parents out there today.
YOU GUYS ARE ROCKSTARS.
I know living in the day and age of a global pandemic is challenging for everyone, but I can't imagine being a working parent right now. I seriously don't know how you guys are doing it. Even more so, I don't know how you superheroes are balancing working full time while trying to educate your kids. Or not working because you have to educate your kids while still trying to make sure your families are financially stable. Or having to worry about your kids even more than you already do while your kids physically do go back to school during this completely uncertain time. Or whatever other less than ideal situation you're dealing with right now.
I'm sure if you guys wanted to be teachers, you would've gone to school to get an education degree. But somehow, you guys are all just stepping up to the plate, saying a prayer, figuring it out, and doing an amazing job wearing all of the hats your suddenly had to wear.
I'm thinking about this today, because this is back to school week in my county. I have lots of friends that have been anxious about this week, and it's for good reason. So for what it's worth, I just wanted to take a second to recognize you all for managing these impossible situations that you've been given.
I'll never know what you're feeling or thinking right now, but I hope I can make your lives a little smidgeon easier with today's no cook, family style, pretty healthy meal. Today, we're making Antipasto Salad!
This one is a super easy one today. It's a no cook, throw everything in a bowl, keep it moving kind of recipe. We have to break out one small appliance to make the dressing, but that's it.
So, let's talk dressing. We're going to whip up a super quick pepper parmesan dressing. To a small food processor or blender, we add some olive oil, shredded parm, a little vinegar, garlic, good ol' s&p, and a dollop of mayonnaise to add a touch of creaminess. Hit the button, and let the blender do all the hard work of emulsifying this dressing for you. Once everything is combined and looking creamy, the dressing is done!
For the salad, we have a little bit of everything in here. We're going to use a mix of romaine, spinach, and arugula as the base of the salad. Then, we're going to load it up with all kinds of Italian flavors. Tomatoes, shallot, banana peppers, salami, ham, capers, and ooey gooey burrata all get layered on top of our mixed greens. Then, we drizzle over our dressing, give everything a toss, and dinner is served!
Here's the thing about this salad, you can add or remove ingredients based on what your family and you love. Kiddos can't handle the banana peppers? Don't put them on their side of the salad. The whole family loves olives but not capers? No problemo...swap them out. Don't have any burrata? Just use some torn fresh mozzarella or little pearl mozzarella. We have options!
And, since we can serve this salad family style on a big platter, you can control where you drop your salad components. Add double of something on one side or nothing of something on the other. This meal is so flexible, the level a stress you should feel from assembling this should be in the negatives.
But on top of being a simple, no fuss meal; this salad is freaking delicious! We have some tangy flavors, some savory flavors, some creamy flavors, some fresh and clean flavors. And that savory dressing is something that I could drink. It's sooooo good!
I know that when 5pm hits and the work day/school day is over, your responsibilities are not. Everyone still has to eat, and the world still has to turn. So, I really hope that this meal takes even the tiniest bit of pressure off of you. I'd come and cook for every single one of you if I could. But since I can't, hopefully this recipe is a good plan B.
Ok guys. Even if you're not a parent out there (like me) right now, I know the world is stressful place overall. So, this easy breezy meal is for all of us! So I hope you guys enjoy. And, let's eat!
Serves: 4 Print
For the Pepper Parmesan Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1 tsp mayonnaise
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
For the Salad:
1 heart of romaine, chopped
3 cups spinach/arugula mix
1 ½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 shallot, thinly sliced
½ cup banana pepper rings, drained
2 tbsp capers, drained
4 oz deli ham, torn
4 oz dry salami, chopped
1 ball burrata, torn
flaky sea salt, to taste
Make the dressing: Add all ingredients for dressing to a small food processor or blender. Process until fully combined and creamy. Set aside.
Assemble the salad: Layer romaine, spinach mix, tomatoes, shallots, peppers, capers, ham, salami, and burrata into 1 large bowl or 4 individual bowls. Sprinkle burrata with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Top salad with dressing, and toss to coat. Serve!
*This dressing makes a conservative, healthy portion of dressing. If you like your salads dressed a little heavier, feel free to double the dressing. However, I think we have enough “wet” components in the salad that it's not necessary. You do you though!
*If you're not serving this whole salad at once or right away, wait to add the burrata and dressing until you're ready to serve.
*In the spirit of antipasto, if you like olive and/or marinated artichokes, feel free to add some to this salad. I'm not a fan of either, so I chose to leave them out.