This is a great antipasto salad that along with a cup of soup, makes a fantastic lunch. You can pick up most of the components at a good gourmet grocery store. Antipasto literally means, “before the meal”, but this offering is the meal!

18 slices prosciutto, I suggest a good quality brand such as Prosciutto Di Parma

12 wedges MANCHEGO cheese

2 tomatoes, cut in wedges

red and yellow bell pepper, sliced in strips

12 green olives stuffed with goat cheese or blue cheese

12 gherkin pickles

Optional: 24 large marinated white beans

6 wedges of marinated artichoke hearts

6 stuffed miniature peppers (stuffed with goat cheese)

Other marinated tapas vegetables of choice

Salad greens

Balsamic vinegar & extra virgin olive oil

salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

loaf of French baguette

1/2 lb. of black olive tapenade*  (either store bought or homemade)

Dress the salad greens with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, set aside.  Cut the French baguette in 1/2 inch pieces, top each piece with a good helping of black olive tapenade.   Have all other tapas ingredients lined up, prepared and sliced accordingly.  Start your assembly line production; 1st place a nice helping of the salad greens, top with the prosciutto, then add the wedges of Manchego cheese, followed by a varied of each of the other tapas ingredients.  You can be creative and add whatever you like!  Your plate will look great!   Finish with two or three slices of French baguette covered with olive tapenade. (serves 6)

Kalamata Olive Tapenade:

20-25 pitted Kalamata olives

1 T capers, drained

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

zest of 1/2 lemon

2 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. anchovy paste (optional)

freshly ground black pepper

Place pitted olives, capers, lemon juice, lemon zest and anchovy paste in food processor, turn on processor and drizzle olive oil into mixture until well mixed.  Refrigerate.

Mah Jongg friends enjoying lunch!