For our most recent dinner, one of our members who is full blooded Italian chose what else but Italian for the theme. I was assigned an Antipasto Platter.
A smaller antipasto platter with only 4–8 ingredients is a great starting point to a full meal. It's also the perfect size for a nice relaxing lunch on the patio or to take along to your next picnic. Include some of these tasty foods:
- Meats. Mortadella, prosciutto, capicollo, Genoa salami and sopressata are all perfect choices.
- Cheeses. Always include chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano, but others to try are aged provolone, smoked Gouda, ripe brie, bocconcini, spiced havarti, marinated mozzarella, Asiago and fontina.
- Jarred or marinated veggies, such as sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, pepperoncini, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and eggplant.
- Assorted olives. Kalamata, garlic-stuffed green olives or a marinated mix are all a nice addition to your plate. Consider adding capers as well.
- Fresh whole basil.
- Breads. Sliced baguettes, crusty Italian bread or rosemary crackers are favourite breads to include.
Include a wide assortment from the simple plate section, but consider adding some of these extras to pump it up a bit:
- Grilled vegetables, such as asparagus, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes or spring onions.
- Seafood, including sardines, anchovies or grilled shrimp.
- Fruits, like fresh melon pieces, figs, grapes and raspberries, or dried fruits such as apricots, dates or cranberries.
Plating your platter
- Assemble your ingredients. With any antipasto platter, the quantity of each food to be added is a personal choice and is dependent on the number of people that are to be served. Use your best judgment to create a balanced and interesting platter.
- One large tray makes a nice visual impact, but one or more smaller plates will also work.
- Consider using small bowls placed on the tray for marinated condiments or vegetables.
- Roll or fold sliced meats for a nice presentation.
- Cut, shave or chunk pieces of cheese.
- Place bread away from moist veggies and pickles.
- Refrigerate your platter, but then bring it back to room temperature for serving.
- Keep sea salt and a pepper grinder handy for seasoning.
- Have extra-virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar ready for drizzling.