Without fail, every family gathering we have at the house, I end up having an antipasto platter out on the counter for all of us to pick at, and munch on. It’s one of my brothers favorites, and he always looks forward to them! To be honest, it kind of wins over everyones heart, at least a little bit! Honestly, at any party who can resist a pick tray? It was one of my favorite things ever since I was little, and discovered that I wanted to become a Chef. The presentation, and the food options are actually endless, which makes it super fun to put something like this together, and it’s quite simple if you’re unsure of where to start!
To me, this is an “authentic antipasto” platter because in today’s world when we hear “antipasto” we tend to think of a salad containing some sort of lettuce, peppers, onions, olives, and a whole mix of meats, and cheeses. That could be considered an “antipasto” salad, but many many years ago when my parents were kids, when people made an antipasto it was just a pick tray. The word “antipasto” itself originated as an existing appetizer! My dads family was Italian and Polish, so food was very big in our family, and still is to this day. He told me stories about how his parents and grandparents would go out into the garden, and pick fresh vegetables, lay out assorted cheese, with anything they already had on hand, and a chunk of Italian bread to create their starting dish for their Sunday dinner. It was simply their appetizer; an antipasto, if you will!
I found this extremely fitting plate, at this cute vintage shop near me that I adore very very much! It was perfect for the occasion, and it would actually be a crime to use any other serving platter, wouldn’t you say?
It depends what I am in the mood to use to lay down on the platter before sitting on little vinegary bites that have a lot of oil, and juice glistened on them, but here, I am using red leaf lettuce. You could choose to use endive leaves, kale, or any other kind of whole headed lettuce, but the ombre on the lettuce is gorgeous for this particular dish. You want to definitely lay the “wet” ingredients onto something instead of just sitting them on the plate itself for two reasons.
- It keeps from having them slide around, making your platter not look as put together
- It keeps the oil and vinegar from getting onto the other items that were going to be arranging, and you don’t want that!
A side angle.
I have pepper shooters, which are stuffed with prosciutto (Italian ham, which is normally very thinly sliced) and provolone cheese (A bit-y Italian cheese). I also piled on some marinated mushrooms. If you love mushrooms you can never go wrong with these!
On the other side of the platter, we have assorted olives. The big green ones are stuffed with blue cheese; they have a bite to them, but they add something that something else can. The deep plum colored olives are Kalamata, and they are my absolute favorite olive ever. They have most flavor, and are very oily.
Every antipasto needs.. no not needs… desires a good, salty, fatty salami.
Sopressata is the best to use! I love it so much. If you’ve never tried it though, brace yourself.. it does have a stronger flavor than your typical American sandwich salami.
For perfect presentation, cut on an angle!
I usually always choose two meats for my trays, at the least, so here I have mortadella. It is an Italian bologna, and its special because it’s extra fatty, and delicious with chunks of pistachio bites inside each slice.
I line all of the slices up, and take my knife straight down the middle to cut them in half.
Take each slice thats cut and roll it like a cigar.
Just like the meats, I like choosing two different cheeses, but I choose them in the fact that they will be accompaning the certain type of meats that I chose.
The first cheese is a peppadew cheddar, and the second is a roasted garlic cheddar.
As I filled the tray, I accompany the food by sections, and put certain things across from each other. I ended the platter by filling it with roasted garlic and rosemary pita chips. I really felt like it would be a great accompaniment to the cheeses. I decorated the tray with wedges of vine ripened tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and chunks of roasted red peppers, to accent the flavor of our peppadew cheese triangles!
This is everything up close so you can see how beautiful all the colors look on our antipasto platter, and to get a prefect view of how to arrange the food on the plate.
Voila! In no time, and with having fun in the kitchen, you’ll get to experience an authentic antipasto! I just love the variety, and it show cases a rustic Italian flare, which would really kick off a good Italian dinner party!
Enjoy your Italian munchies! Ciao diamonds xoxo