This is slightly adapted from one of Food and Wine Magazine's best 40 recipes of 2018. It was created by La Brea Bakery founder/chef/restauranteur Nancy Silverton.
The recipe calls for Genoa salami, but of course you can use just about anything similar. We used the Salumi Chicago Tartufo (truffled salami) from Howie's, which gave a nice extra flavor. It uses iceberg lettuce as a crunchy base, but you could substitute romaine for even more crunch. Dried oregano is called for. Oregano is an easy herb to grow, and the spring has brought us plenty in the garden so we dried it for the recipe.
As an appetizer salad this can serve up to eight. By cutting the amount of salami in half and cheese by about a third we ate it as a dinner salad for two with bread on the side.
Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade
3 tablespoons green-olive tapenade from a jar
1/4 cup pepperoncini — stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups bocconcini (mozzarella balls) (about 9 ounces); if not available, a good fresh mozzarella cut up in to similarly sized squares would be fine
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small head of iceberg lettuce, halved, cored and finely shredded (4 cups)
6 ounces thinly sliced Genoa salami, cut into thin strips (1 1/2 cups)
6 small basil leaves
1/2 cup green olives, such as picholine; we used pimento stuffed green manzanilla olives which were fine
More kosher salt (optional; crunchy finishing sea salt would also be nice)
In one bowl, mix the green-olive tapenade with the pepperoncini and 1/4 cup of the oil. Add the bocconcini and toss.
In another bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the vinegar, garlic and oregano. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper.
Tip: We like to put the dressing ingredients in a small jar. When it is time to use, just shake it up to combine.
In a bowl, combine the shredded lettuce and salami. Add the marinated bocconcini and half of the dressing and toss well. Divide the salad among a desired number of plates. Top with the basil and olives. Sprinkle some salt, if using, on the boconcinni balls. Drizzle the remaining dressing around the salad and serve.
You can get a head start by marinating the cheese, making the dressing, and refrigerating overnight. Finish the dish just prior to serving.
WINE SUGGESTION: We drank a sparkling rosé of pinot noir from Nalle winery in Healdsburg, California.