Christmas Tree Antipasto Salad

Christmas Tree Antipasto Salad

This cheery holiday salad is a fun (and delicious!) decorating idea for a party. A trio of lettuces create the evergreen tree, and items from the deli counter and salad bar become an edible garland. 

Level: Easy

Total: 45 min

Active: 45 min

Yield: 8 servings

 
 

Ingredients

Salad:

5 ounces baby arugula (about 8 cups)

5 ounces baby kale (about 8 cups)  

2 Persian cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced into half moons

3 heads little gem lettuce, bases trimmed and leaves separated, or the inner leaves of Bibb lettuce

1/4 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami

Three 1/4-inch-thick slices provolone (about 6 ounces)

1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto 

1 cup cheese-stuffed small sweet piquante peppers, such as peppadews 

1/2 cup jarred small whole artichoke hearts (about 8)

1/2 cup green castelvetrano olives

1/2 cup kalamata olives

1/2 cup small whole pepperoncini

6 radishes, tops trimmed

1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

One 4-ounce goat cheese log

8 ounces ciliegine mozzarella (small balls of mozzarella), halved

 

White Balsamic Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions:


  1. Special equipment:

     1-inch, 1 1/2-inch and 3 1/2-inch star cutters; a bar citrus zester

  2.  
  3.  
  4. 1. For the salad: Combine the baby arugula and kale in a large bowl. Arrange the leaves on a very large platter or cutting board in a Christmas tree shape that measures 16 to 18 inches tall, reserving a handful of greens. The platter should be large enough to accommodate a star on top and a trunk on the bottom. Scatter half of the sliced cucumbers over the tree. Arrange a layer of little gem lettuce leaves to create 4 tiers on the tree; use the small inner leaves for the fourth layer at the top of the tree.
  5. 2. Stack the sliced salami and cut out a large star using a 3 1/2-inch star cutter; reserve the scraps. Using the same cutter, cut out 2 stars from 2 slices of the provolone; reserve the scraps. Make a layered meat-and-cheese stack starting with half the salami stars, topped with a provolone star, the rest of the salami, and the second provolone star. Place the star at the top of the tree. 
  6. 3. Cut out smaller stars from the provolone scraps and the remaining provolone slice using 1-inch and 1 1/2-inch cutters. Roll up the salami scraps and prosciutto slices into flowers. Arrange the cheese stars, meat flowers, stuffed peppadews, artichoke hearts, both kinds of olives and pepperoncini on the lettuce to form a garland that zig-zags up the tree from the bottom right to the upper left. 
  7. 4. Using a bar citrus zester, zest a channel along the equator of each radish so it resembles a tree ornament. Halve each radish vertically and add the pieces to the garland. Scatter the remaining cucumber slices on the leafy parts of the tree and use the reserved greens to fill any gaps in the tree.
  8. 5. Put the nuts on a small plate and roll the goat cheese in them to fully coat. Place the log at the bottom of the tree to form the trunk. Decorate the ground under the tree with the ciliegine mozzarella balls for snow.
  9. 6. For the white balsamic vinaigrette: Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper in a small bowl until well combined. Serve on the side.

Christmas Tree Antipasto Salad
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Christmas Tree Antipasto Salad
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50 Minutes Serves 4Easy

50 Minutes Serves 4Easy

Serves 4

Easy

This recipe for beef fillet with spiced pears and chestnut pickle is easy to make but offers something a little bit different during the colder months. Buy chestnuts ready-peeled for ease.

SPICED PEARS AND CHESTNUT PICKLE

  • ginger 1cm piece, finely chopped
  • red chilli flakes a pinch
  • olive oil 2 tbsp

  • red wine vinegar 150ml

 

 

  • light muscovado sugar 3 tbsp
  • pears 3 or 4 small
  • cooked chestnuts 60g, sliced or halved

Method

  • STEP 1 Make the pickle ahead. Put the ginger, red chilli flakes, olive oil, red wine vinegar and sugar in a small pan and bring to a simmer. Peel the pears, cut them into halves or quarters and core. Drop them into the hot mixture with the chestnuts and leave to cool completely, turning the pears over once. Lift the pears out of the mix and put them in a bowl. Simmer the liquid until it is thicker and stickier, season, and pour over the pears. This will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

 

  • STEP 2 Season the beef with plenty of salt and pepper and leave to dry and come up to room temperature for an hour.

 

  • STEP 3 Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan and sear the beef well on all sides, then put it in a roasting tin. Roast for 20 minutes for rare beef (another 10 minutes for medium-rare), cover with foil and a tea towel, then rest for 20 minutes. Slice into thick rounds and lay down the centre of a serving dish. Arrange the pears down the centre of the beef, stir any meat juices into the sauce and spoon it and the chestnuts over the pears.


50 Minutes Serves 4Easy
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50 Minutes Serves 4Easy
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