SOY PEPPERONI ANTIPASTO SALAD

SOY PEPPERONI ANTIPASTO SALAD

Soy pepperoni, tomato, cucumber, marinated artichokes, pickled banana peppers and Kalamata olives marinated in a creamy sweet vinaigrette with fresh herbs, smoked almonds and garlic. Special!

Makes 5 cups

1 lg. cucumber, peeled, cut in half from tip to tip, seeded, then cut crosswise into 1/4 inch wide strips

1 lg. ripe slicing tomato or 4 Roma tomatoes, cored and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

1 sm. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained; remove stiff outer petals, then cut each segment into halves or thirds

12 Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely cut

1/4 c. jarred sliced pickled banana peppers

1/3 c. packed, fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped

1/4 c. packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/3 c. smoke almonds

1 lg. garlic clove, peeled and coarsely cut

1 pkg. soy pepperoni (I used Yves brand); cut each slice of pepperoni in half

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 c. red wine vinegar

1/4 c. soy mayonnaise ( I used Vegenaise)

3 T. light brown sugar

1/2 t. salt

In large bowl combine cucumber, tomato, artichokes, banana peppers, olives, parsley and basil.

Place smoked almonds and garlic in blender container and process till mealy. Pour over veggies.

Add soy pepperoni to veggies, followed by lots of freshly ground black pepper. Toss all ingredients till evenly dispersed.

In separate bowl combine olive oil, vinegar, Vegenaise, brown sugar and salt. Using a fork or wire whisk, stir till thoroughly incorporated and sugar melts.

Pour dressing over salad. Toss well to coat. Pat down ingredients to submerge in dressing. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours.

To serve: Transfer to decorative bowl. Garnish with additional parsley and basil leaves. Serve.

Notes: This is one of our favorite antipasto salads. Serve as a side dish to pasta, or as a main dish on a green leafy lettuce leaf.

For pasta salad: Cook 2 cups small penne pasta or bow ties. Cool, then toss with antipasto just before serving. When making pasta salads be sure to salt the water sufficiently when cooking the pasta. You don’t want bland pasta to dilute the flavor of the antipasto.

For green salad: Cut crisp romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Toss with the antipasto and serve. When serving as a green salad, I like to top each serving with additional smoked almond crumbles.

When contributing to a picnic, or pot luck buffet at any time of the year, this is a perfect dish to bring!

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