Antipasto salad with a seafood base could be the nucleus of buffet supper

August 11, 1991|By Linda Lowe Morris

In her book "The Antipasto Table," Michelle Scicolone created a menu of antipasto dishes to be served as a buffet supper for a crowd. The menu is based around a seafood salad made with pesto, a perfect way to enjoy the fresh basil now in season.

"I had this at a restaurant in Liguria where the chef is a wonderful fish cook," she says. "And this might have been his twist on different ways to use pesto."

She combines it with a ricotta salata salad, a dish which she says would also make -- with bread -- a wonderful light meal for the summer months.

"Ricotta salata is a form of ricotta cheese, a fresh, cottage-type cheese that doesn't keep well in its normal state. So they salt it and they press it. It has a texture and a flavor very similar to feta cheese, only a little bit milder than feta. But you could substitute feta cheese for the ricotta salata."

For a large group, the recipes could easily be doubled.

% Here are the recipes:

Olive crostini

Serves eight.

8 slices of a chewy, peasant-style bread, cut 1/2 -inch thick

1/2 cup pitted imported black olives, such as Kalamata

3 anchovy fillets

1 tablespoon drained capers

1 garlic clove, peeled

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Bake slices of bread in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned, turning once.

In the bowl of a food processor, finely chop the olives, anchovies, capers and garlic. Place in a bowl and stir in the olive oil. Spread on the toasted bread. Serve immediately.

Seafood salad with pesto

Serves four to six.


1 small bunch basil

1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley

1 small garlic clove, peeled

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt


4 medium red potatoes (about 12 ounces), cut into 1/4 -inch slices

1/2 pound green beans


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 pound bay scallops

1 pound cleaned squid, cut into 1/2 -inch rings

To make the pesto, rinse the basil and parsley and remove the leaves from the stems. Dry well with paper towels. You should have about 1 cup basil leaves and 1/2 cup parsley leaves.

In a food processor or blender, coarsely chop the basil and parsley. Add the garlic and pine nuts and chop fine. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil. Add the salt. Set aside.

Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan. Add cold water to cover and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, bring another medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the green beans and salt to taste. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until the beans are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Pat dry.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute. Add the scallops and cook for 1 minute more. Add the squid and cook for 1 minute more or until all the shellfish are opaque. Drain well.

Add the shellfish to the dressing and toss well. Arrange the potato slices on a large serving plate. Top with the green beans. Spoon the shellfish and their dressing over the vegetables and top with the pesto. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and serve


Ligurian chicken salad

Serves four to eight.

1 celery rib, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 medium onion, peeled

1 garlic clove, peeled


6 black peppercorns

1 chicken (about 3 pounds)

2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

1 small cucumber, peeled and seeded

1/2 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

pinch of dried marjoram

freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add the celery, carrot, whole onion, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and the peppercorns. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the chicken. Return to a simmer and cook until the chicken thigh is just tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the broth. Remove the skin and meat from the bones and cut the meat into bite-size pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, basil and parsley.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the chicken and vegetables and toss lightly. Serve immediately.

Tomato, arugula and ricotta salata salad

Serves four.

1 bunch arugula, washed and dried

2 large ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced

2 thin slices red onion, separated into rings

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces ricotta salata

Tear the arugula into bite-size pieces, discarding any tough stems.

Arrange the tomatoes on a platter. Top with the arugula and onion rings. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Coarsely grate the ricotta salata. Sprinkle it over the salad. Serve


Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.