Apparently we’re going to get a very short break from the heat. Last week it came and stayed for three days. It got cool – well, in the eighties anyway – and now the heat is rising once again. The heat can leave one lethargic and with a brain that is slow to function. I was hearing my clients talk about the heat to come and I kind of freaked out! How was I going to survive three 90 plus days in my cute and warm apartment? How was I going to feed us? I needed to have a plan in place. Not having a plan meant going to convenient restaurants with a/c, which is a stressful thought. Six meals where we have to decide where to go to eat, not because I wanted to eat out but for the sole reason that I did not want to decide what to make at the house. This in my experience does not lead to a fulfilling meal. So I hit the grocery stores, just like they do in the northwest when snow is on the horizon and we might be snowed in for a couple of days. I stocked up on pantry items such as olives, artichoke hearts, canned beans and also refrigerated items: fresh mozzarella, pre-cooked chicken breast, salami, a block of Swiss cheese and of course produce.
Besides having the kitchen stocked, I checked the show times at all the area movie houses and I memorized the hours of the closest library. I was going to thrive in this heat and not let it get to me. To my pleasant surprise the apartment is not as hot as anticipated. And I am drinking more water than usual, always a good thing.
I chose to stay home and write more. It feels so good even in the heat. And I made this salad the other night. We had a bottle of Italian Moscato in the fridge ready to be uncorked. With the salad and wine, we felt as if we transported ourselves to a European resort. Gone were the laptops from our desk/ dining area. We were enthralled with dinner and just being quiet. It was priceless and so much better than any convenient restaurant.
There is really no way to do this salad wrong. I served it on our platter and we had one serving left-over. With this recipe I am only going to list the ingredients. You can make this into individual servings or not. With a platter, you can see all of the ingredients better than a bowl. Just put as much of each ingredient as looks good to you. All the ingredients are soaked with oil, so I did not add any dressing to this salad. If you want feel free to add extra olive oil or add some balsamic vinegar if the salad is too dry. Taste first before adding any more oil.
1 quart kale
1 cup baby spinach
1 chicken breast
8 ounces marinated mushrooms with garlic
6 ounces fire roasted red peppers
6 grilled artichoke halves
1 ball of Burrata ( Fresh Mozzarella cheese filled with mozzarella cream) YUM
7 ounces sliced green olives
1 tomato diced in large pieces
- Wash the kale. Shake it off. Massage the kale on the vessel you will serve the salad.
- Add the spinach on top
- Slice the mushrooms, cheese and artichoke hearts
- Add all of the ingredients on top of the bead of green
- Place on your dining table of choice and serve
- Take some bites and enjoy the moment
Now you are probably thinking “What do I do with the leftover antipasto ingredients?” My answer is to make another salad. Just a couple simple tweaks to the above recipe and you have a whole new dish.
GREEN BEAN ANTIPASTO SALAD
This salad is sans leafy greens. Green beans are the centered ingredient.
1 pound of green beans
4 ounces of salami
6 ounces fire roasted red peppers
8 ounces marinated mushrooms
6 ounces marinated artichoke hearts
1 ball of Mozzarella cheese
1 basket of cherry tomatoes
- String the green beans. Snap them in half and put them in a steamer basket
- Get a pot out and fill it with an inch of water
- Insert the steamer basket of beans into the pot
- Cover the pot an turn it on high
- Let the water boil for four minutes
- Slice the peppers into strips
- Slice the salami if using flat pre cut salami. If using a roll of salami dice it
- Slice the rest of the ingredients into half.
- Once the beans are steamed and still bright green, drain them and rinse with cold water
- Place beans in serving bowl and add the rest of the ingredients
- Prepare the dressing, once shaked add 1/4 cup to the salad
- Add salt and pepper to liking