When you’re invited to a last minute gathering or you’re hosting dinner and will spend the bulk of your prep time on the main meal, go an easy, yet delicious route and provide Italian pre-meal munchies: an Antipasto Platter. Antipasto literally means “before the meal”, so making sure dinner guests have some apps to nibble on as they work up an appetite to the main meal will keep everyone happy and start the event off on the right foot. You can make it colorful, get creative, and you can even put it together at the host’s house in minutes upon arriving. I simply brought a wide white plate to lay the goodies on and a few dishes for any oily or liquidy items, such as olive oil and vinegar. Central Market was the perfect place to stock the antipasto platter with a bountiful cheese department, an olive bar, and a comprehensive bakery. I went with:
- peppadew peppers (so sweet and spicy and fabulous!)
- an olive assortment
- sliced multigrain ficelle, or baguette
- a wedge of cheese,
- olive oil with roasted garlic (I just popped diced garlic into the toaster) for dipping.
You could add chopped marinated artichoke hearts, canned roasted red peppers, sundried tomatos, aged balsamic vinegar for dipping (the more aged, the more sweet it is), multiple cheeses, or pesto. Serve with forks or toothpicks so people can easily choose what to taste.
If it was up to me, an antipasto platter and a glass of vino could be my entire meal, but then I’d miss out on some of the fun. Either way, this is an easy way to make sure guests start and leave on a tasty note! Bon Appetit!