← Back to Search Results
pickling, preserving Calabria, European, Italian
Calabrese Antipasto

Photo by: Joseph DeLeo
Comments: 0


In my childhood home in California’s Central Valley, this antipasto was far and away the favorite and the most frequently on the table. It was an attempt to re-create a taste my parents brought from southern Italy, using the products they could find here. You can buy a similar antipasto in many Italian delis today, but it’s easy to make your own. I make it for parties because you can assemble it ahead, and the recipe makes a massive amount. My mother would can it, but it also lasts for at least a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.

Calabrese Antipasto is the comfort food I reach for when I come home from work late. With some chunks of ciabatta (a large, crusty, slipper-shaped loaf) and a glass of white wine, I’m content.

Yield: Makes about 1 gallon, to serve at least 12 


  • 1 cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut on the diagnnal into ½.-inch-thick slices
  • 4 inner celery ribs, cut on the diagonal into ½-inch-thick slices
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¾ pound small fresh button mushrooms
  • 1 jar (7½ ounces) peperoncini (pickled green peppers)
  • 1 can (7 ounces or 200 grams) imported olive oil-packed tuna, drained
  • 1 tin (2 ounces) anchovies with capers, drained
  • 1 can (3 ounces) pitted black olives, drained
  • 1 jar (5 ounces) pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives, drained
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) baby kosher dill pickles, drained and sliced % inch thick
  • 1 jar (7½ ounces) pickled onions, drained
  • 2 jars (6½ ounces each) marinated artichoke hearts, drained

For the Antipasto Sauce:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup canned tomato sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup tarragon vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • Sea salt, preferably gray salt
  • Cayenne pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Blanch the cauliflower for about 2 minutes; it should still be crisp. With a skimmer, transfer the florets to a tray to cool quickly. Repeat with the carrots and then with the celery, cooking them just long enough to remove their raw taste; they will be cooked more later.

Add the white wine vinegar to the water and blanch the mushrooms for 1 minute. (The vinegar will keep the mushrooms white.) Drain and spread the mushrooms on a tray to cool quickly.

Put the cauliflower, carrots, celery, and mushrooms in a large bowl. Add the peperoncini, tuna, anchovies, olives, pickles, onions, and artichoke hearts. Toss well.

Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden. Add the tomato sauce, ketchup, lemon juice, tarragon vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the contents of the bowl. Stir well, then cover and simmer gently until the carrots are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool, then refrigerate.


My kids have always enjoyed making this dish with me because there are so many little jars to open. Make the recipe your own by substituting your favorite pickled or preserved foods, then passing the recipe on to your own children.

© 2002 Napa Style, Inc.

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information includes 1/2 teaspoon of added salt.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

162kcal (8%)
1472mg (61%)
8g (12%)
1g (6%)
6mg (2%)
195mcg RAE (7%)
41mg (68%)
64mg (6%)
2mg (9%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

a-bakers-odyssey A Baker's Odyssey
by Andrew Schloss
mom-a-licious Mom-a-Licious
by Domenica Catelli
nancy-silvertons-sandwich-book Nancy Silverton's Sandwich ...
by Nancy Silverton
down-home-with-the-neelys-a-southern-family-cookbook Down Home with the Neelys: ...
by Gina Neely, Pat Neely
chez-panisse-fruit Chez Panisse Fruit
by Alice Waters
how-to-be-a-domestic-goddess How to be a Domestic Goddess
by Nigella Lawson
gluten-free-and-vegan-holidays Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays
by Jennifer Katzinger
salmon-a-cookbook Salmon: A Cookbook
by Diane Morgan
the-deen-bros-take-it-easy-quick-and-affordable-meals-the-whole-family-will-love The Deen Bros. Take It Easy...
by Bobby Deen, Jamie Deen
nigella-express Nigella Express
by Nigella Lawson
the-gourmet-cookbook The Gourmet Cookbook
by Ruth Reichl
the-sushi-experience The Sushi Experience
by Hiroko Shimbo
the-vegetable-dishes-i-cant-live-without The Vegetable Dishes I Can'...
by Mollie Katzen, Greg Atkinson
Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here

Sign in to Cookstr

Keep me logged in
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?