This chopped antipasti salad has a twist that takes it to the next level: crunchy orzo! It is crispy, crunchy, refreshing and satisfying all at once. It makes for a filling lunch or a delicious side dish at a potluck.
Technique tip: To par cook the pasta, bring a pot of boiling water to a boil. Season well with salt. Add the pasta and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and spread on a paper towel lined plate to dry completely. Dry very well. Make sure the pasta is very well dried before frying to avoid the oil popping.
Swap option: Try red wine vinegar instead of white wine and arugula instead of romaine.
- 2 tablespoons jarred green olive tapenade
- 1/2 teaspoon Calabrian chili paste
- 1½ teaspoons dry oregano
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 to 2 hearts romaine lettuce, sliced thin
- 2 roasted red peppers, sliced into thin strips
- 3 ounces provolone, thinly sliced
- 3 ounces Genoa salami, thinly sliced
- 1 bulb fennel, thinly shaved
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup par-cooked orzo pasta
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the dressing:
In a large bowl, whisk together the tapenade, chili paste, oregano, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt to taste.
For the salad:
Add the chopped romaine, roasted red pepper, fennel, provolone and salami to the bowl with the dressing and toss well to coat.
For the pasta:
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the par-cooked pasta and fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel lined plate and season with the salt.
Sprinkle the crispy orzo over the top of the salad and serve.