Antipasto Salad With Citrus-Vodka Vinagrette

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This recipe appeared as part of the second-place winner of ICSA XVI. It is a splendid Italian antipasto salad.

Here is what you will need:


For the salad:
1 head Romaine lettuce
1 head red leaf lettuce
1 package cherry tomatoes
1 carrot
1 head red cabbage
1/2 red onion
1 package mozarella cheese
1 block parmesan cheese
1 package sliced Genoa salami
1 package large sliced pepperoni
1 bottle pickled Italian vegetables (you know the kind, with cauliflower, carrots, pepperoncini, etc)
1 bottle Italian (not stuffed) olives

For the dressing:
6 large lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Citrus-flavored vodka (no need for fancy here, either)

Here is where we are going...


And here is how we get there...

First, chop up your lettuce. I only use a little bit of the red leaf lettuce, for color:


Throw this in a bowl.


Using a peeler, shred your carrot onto the lettuce.


Now, time to chop. Start with the red cabbage. Don't use the whole thing, we just want enough to add some festive color to the dish. About this much:


Now chop your 1/2 red onion by slicing as thin as you can manage, the quartering the slices like so:


Now cut your cherry tomatoes. Cut them at their equator as shown (the stem being the "North pole"):


The end result should look something like this:


Throw everything in the salad and grate about a half a cup of the parmesan cheese in as well. Toss this up, and plate it on a salad platter:


Now for the dressing. To start, squeeze your fresh lemons.


You want to end up with about a cup of fresh lemon juice:


Add 1/2 cup of olive oil...


Add 1/4 cup Dijon mustard...


Add 1/4 cup of citrus-flavored vodka. The flavored vodkas are sweetened, so this ingredient takes the place of the sugar that usually goes into this dressing.


When you're done, add some salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, whisk it all up and it should look something like this:


Time to put it all together. Cut your meats and mozzarella cheese into strips.


Place the pickled vegetables around the edge, top with the olives, and artfully place your meats and cheeses over the salad. Who wouldn't want to eat this?