Unique dishes

Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade

As the co-founder of La Brea Bakery and Campanile restaurant in Los Angeles, Nancy Silverton made her name as a brilliant baker. She has since shown her mastery of Italian food at Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza, getting the biggest flavor from the simplest ingredients. She does just that with this salad, which combines crisp iceberg lettuce, milky mozzarella, spicy-tangy peperoncini and salty olives and salami.Nancy Silverton, the cofounder of Campanile and La Brea Bakery (for which she was named a F&W Best New Chef in 1990) and co-owner of Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, is famous for her baking, but she’s also a master of Italian flavors. Case in point: this smart and delicious play on a classic antipasto plate. Shredded iceberg lettuce serves as the crunchy base for a salad made with creamy mozzarella balls (bocconcini), Genoa salami, peperoncini, and green olives. It’s one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” dishes that hits all of the right notes.


Ingredient Checklist

  • 3 tablespoons green-olive tapenade from a jar
  • 1/4 cup peperoncini—stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups bocconcini (mozzarella balls) (about 9 ounces)
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • 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


  • Step 1
    In a medium bowl, mix the green-olive tapenade with the peperoncini and 1/4 cup of the oil. Add the bocconcini and toss.
  • Step 2
    In a small 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.
  • Step 3
    In a bowl, combine the shredded lettuce and salami. Add the marinated bocconcini and half of the dressing and toss well. Transfer the antipasto salad to a large platter. Top with the basil and olives. Drizzle the remaining dressing around the salad and serve.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through step 2 and refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Frothy, berry-scented Lambrusco: NV Venturini Baldini Lambrusco dell’Emilia.

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