Italian Antipasti Platter
A colourful mixture of meats, cheeses, breads and marinated vegetable for sharing with friends. Serves as many as you need.

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Italian Antipasti Platter

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Ingredients

assorted Italian meats prosciutto or parma ham; salami milano or napoli
assorted Italian cheeses I like using a soft cheese like buffalo mozzarella/burrata and a hard cheese like pecorino/parmesan
A small tub of black olives
marinated artichoke hearts
assorted tomatoes try sun-dried or sun-sweetened tomatoes, or just cherry or baby plum
marinated red peppers stuffed with cheese or unstuffed slices
assorted breads foccacia or bread sticks
mixed salad leaves
green pesto for drizzling on everything
other marinated vegetables including mushrooms, aubergine or small onions

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Just pick any options you like from the suggestions and arrange beautifully. Don't forget the wine - and lots of good friends.

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A few weeks ago it was my birthday and so I threw myself a little dinner party.  There were 7 of us in total and I wanted to cook, but I wanted it to be easy enough that I didn’t miss my own party by spending the night in the kitchen.  So I came up with a simple but effective menu that involved clever preparation in advance and not much effort on the night.  And I had a ball.  For a starter, I decided to conjure up those long, Mediterranean summers I yearn for in the UK by serving a vibrant and colourful Italian Antipasti Platter.  There’s something about party food where everyone can just help themselves, isn’t there?  Plus, the variety on offer meant I was able to guarantee that there was something that everybody liked.

It was mainly an exercise in assembly, although I did enjoy making my four-ingredient pesto again.  I simply bought a variety of Italian finger nibbles and arranged them beautifully on a large platter, then served it with bread sticks and lots and lots of wine!  If you are throwing a dinner party and want a starter that requires little/no effort, then I strongly encourage you to try this.  Just for once, I went over the six-ingredient rule, but I didn’t really cook any of it – so what could be more Food-Brood-simple than that?!

I’ve listed many, many ingredients here, which you can pick from to make up your ideal platter to suit your tastes.  This particular one had an Italian vibe (my favourite), but I intend to follow this up with more versions from different cuisines over the coming months.  An excuse for more parties!

Steps

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Done

Select your favourite antipasti from the suggestions here and arrange beautifully fanned out, on a large platter - fit for sharing. As a general guideline, each person would probably eat 2-3 pieces each of meat and cheese, with maybe 6 different marinated vegetables and a small portion of salad, if it's a starter (appetizer). Plus bread sticks, of course!

TfB

Owner/Author of The Food Brood

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