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.
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.
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.
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).
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
Here are some suggested items for your platter (although maybe not “authentically Italian”):
Roasted red peppers
Garlicky white bean dip
Shrimp with cocktail dipping sauce
Fresh ricotta cheese drizzled with good olive oil or honey
Fresh mozzarella balls with cherry tomatoes
Dried fruits such as apricots
Fresh fruits in season such as apples, pears, cherries
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.
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