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This Vegetarian Antipasto Salad adds salty zing to any gathering! Crunchy vegetables, briny olives, juicy tomatoes and starchy beans make a mouth-watering combo. And the best part is that this salad can sit for days and still taste – and look – beautiful. A Vegetarian Antipasto Salad is the perfect addition to all the summer picnics and barbeques!
Why we love it
Perhaps you have heard the term “antipasto”, but let’s talk more about what it entails. Antipasto is an Italian appetizer dish, traditionally served at the beginning of a meal. There is no specific recipe for antipasto, since the ingredients greatly change depending on which region of Italy it is prepared in. Antipasto consists of various cured meats, fresh vegetables, cheeses and other preserved ingredients, served with the intention of engaging and stimulating all five senses.
Seasonality is not necessarily a hallmark of antipasto, since so many of the ingredients are cured, pickled or preserved in other ways. Additionally, it is typically served at room temperature. The preserved ingredients and room temperature preparation make antipasto an appropriate dish for any season. It’s also the perfect recipe to use up an array of canned and jarred ingredients hiding at the back of the pantry.
Let’s highlight the preserved ingredients used in this Nutrition Therapist Master -approved antipasto recipe:
- White beans – a great source of phosphatidylserine, a phospholipid that can help with high chronic stress, may improve Alzheimer’s disease, and may be effective for depression.
- Artichoke hearts – although most of the powerful nutrients are actually in the artichoke leaves, artichoke hearts are a fantastic source of the soluble fiber inulin, which can help relieve constipation and improve gut health.
- Kalamata olives – a rich source of oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats are known to improve blood lipid profile, decrease blood pressure, and modulate insulin resistance and glycemic control
- Roasted peppers – cooking bell peppers can enhance the bioavailability of carotenoids.
- Capers – capers are actually immature flower buds of a bush. Capers are a good source of quercetin, a flavonoid that acts as an antioxidant and is considered a natural antihistamine to help with allergies.
There are many other nutrient-dense preserved ingredients that can be added to this salad. Feel free to experiment with this Antipasto Salad and add your own twist. Do you have any favorites? NTI would love to know! Snap photos of your creations and tag us on Instagram and/or Facebook with @ntischool, #ntieats, and #ntischool.
Find more picnic and barbeque-friendly recipes in NTI’s collection:
Vegetarian Antipasto Salad
2 cups green beans, blanched (see notes)
14-oz can white beans (rinsed and drained), or 1 can albacore tuna, drained
14-oz can artichoke hearts in water, drained
1 cup kalamata olives, sliced
1 cup celery, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup roasted bell peppers, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon capers
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4–1/2 cup basil, thinly sliced
optional: baby mozzarella balls
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar, more to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 finely minced garlic clove
1 tbsp shallot, finely minced
1/2 tsp maple syrup or honey
1 tsp Italian seasoning (or dried oregano)
1/4 tsp salt, more to taste
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch chili flakes
- Begin with blanching the green beans: bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, add green beans and simmer until vibrant and just tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water.
- Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or glass jar.
- In a large bowl, add the drained beans (or drained tuna), drained artichoke hearts, olives, chopped celery, roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, red onions, capers and fresh herbs. Add baby mozzarella balls if using.
- Gently fold in the dressing into the salad, until combined. Taste, and add more salt or vinegar as needed – the flavor will vary here based on what specific preserved ingredients you are using.
- Chill until serving time.
- Salad will keep for 4 days in the fridge.
Recipe adapted from Feasting at Home
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Did you make this recipe?
We would love to hear your feedback, see your creations and share your recipe photo with the NTI community! Tag your photos on Instagram and/or Facebook with @ntischool, #ntieats and #ntischool
About the Author: Daina Rasutis is a graduate of NTI’s Nutrition Therapist Master Program. Her background in Environmental Engineering has allowed her to combine the best of science with a love for nutrition, sustainability & delicious food. Follow Daina’s nutrition practice, cooking creations and lifestyle tips on her website: www.tabletocrave.com
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