Saturday, July 5, 2014

Antipasto Platter

Last Fall we began a neighborhood dinner group.  We gather every 6 weeks or so and enjoy an evening of wonderful food and friendship at one of the members home.  The hostess is responsible for the theme and choosing the menu.

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.
A larger platter will include not only more of every ingredient, but also more ingredients altogether. Plan on at least 8–12 different foods. This will make a wonderful platter to serve at a large party or as a relaxing summer meal to enjoy on the patio.

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.
Antipasto Platters make a beautiful appetizer and there's so many choices for the ingredients.  I served mine with olives and hard breadsticks. 

3 comments:

  1. Yum! Your dinner group sounds like fun Julie and I'm sure the antipasto platter was a big hit:@)

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  2. Gorgeous assembly. This is one of the best appetizers (or meals) around! And perfect for a relaxing summer evening.

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  3. Glad you started a dinner group - they are so much fun. The format, just like ours, is the best. You can create a theme or not as you please. The antipasto platter sounds delicious!

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