Antipasti Platter for a Meal or a Party

Antipasti: Marinated anchovies, garlic-stuffed olives, Kalamata olives, hummus, smoked salmon, dates (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Antipasti: Marinated anchovies, garlic-stuffed olives, Kalamata olives, hummus, smoked salmon, dates (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Antipasti: Marinated anchovies, garlic-stuffed olives, Kalamata olives, hummus, smoked salmon, dates (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

A favorite meal of my husband’s and mine is antipasti. Originating in Italy, antipasti is plural for antipasto and means “before the meal.” It’s usually a plate of cured meats, cheeses, and brined or marinated vegetables that’s eaten as an appetizer.

We tend to make antipasti a whole meal here at our home at dinner and sometimes even for a late Sunday brunch. It’s also a great option for a party as your guests can assemble their own sample plates from a large platter of tasty ingredients. Vegetarians can omit the meats and seafood and still have a satisfying meal.

Antipasti: Roasted Red Peppers and Tomatoes, Artichokes, and Dilled Smoked Salmon (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Antipasti: Roasted Red Peppers and Tomatoes, Artichokes, and Dilled Smoked Salmon (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

As a wedding gift, a good friend gave us some lovely solid white porcelain platters with pretty raised grape patterns on them. We use those platters when we are assembling our antipasti.

Smoked Salmon, Shrimp, Marinated Artichokes, Ricotta, Cream Cheese, and Hummus (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Smoked Salmon, Shrimp, Marinated Artichokes, Ricotta, Cream Cheese, and Hummus (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

This isn’t necessarily a “recipe” as much as suggestions for your antipasti platter. You can usually find a lot of options at your local gourmet grocery store. Our Whole Foods Markets have well-stocked fresh antipasti bars in my area.

Antipasti Platter for New Year’s Eve Buffet (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Put the spreadable or runny items in their own containers such as ramekins or small bowls. The others can sit next to each other on the platter. My favorite combinations include the savory (meats, hard and soft cheeses, marinated veggies) and also the sweet (ricotta drizzled with honey, dates, dried or fresh fruits).

Marinated olives, dates, hummus, smoked salmon, and Manchego cheese (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Marinated olives, dates, hummus, smoked salmon, and Manchego cheese (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Antipasti Platter

Here are some suggested items for your platter (although maybe not “authentically Italian”):

Garlic-stuffed olives
Kalamata olives
Pepperoncini
Roasted red peppers
Artichoke hearts
Hummus
Garlicky white bean dip
Olive tapenade
Mortadella
Salami
Proscuitto
Smoked Salmon
Shrimp with cocktail dipping sauce
Marinated eggplant
Fresh ricotta cheese drizzled with good olive oil or honey
Fresh mozzarella balls with cherry tomatoes
Parmesan cubes
Manchego slices
Dates
Dried fruits such as apricots
Fresh fruits in season such as apples, pears, cherries
Almonds
Pecans
Walnuts
Pistachios

Serves a hungry crowd as an appetizer or party plate, or serves two for a romantic dinner. Offer slices of crusty baguette or Italian bread, and assorted crackers along with the antipasti platter. Offer some condiments such as butter, wildflower honey, fig jam, assorted mustards or cocktail sauce depending on your antipasti combos.

Variations: Lots of variations. It’s your choice as to what you offer on the platter.

Dinner: Antipasti Platter, Baguette, Butter, and Wine! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Romantic Candlelight Dinner: Antipasti Platter, Baguette, Butter, and Wine! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

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