Friday, January 12, 2018


An easy and fun entertaining idea that comes together rather quickly and requires no cooking, just assembling. Antipasto is the traditional first course of an Italian meal. An assembly of small bites of finger foods served with wine before dinner to stimulate the appetite and may contain an assortment of fresh cheeses, cured cold cuts, a variety of olives and other pickled veggies, fruits, nuts, crackers, and breadsticks. Most of the ingredients can be store bought, but you can add your own touch to a few things to give a flavor boost. For a relaxed and delicious start to any dinner party or cocktail party serve up this beautiful plate of goodness.

Choose from this list of possible candidates. 
  1. Olives - serve a variety of different olives. You get excellent marinated olives in the olive bars of grocery stores these days. You can also customize your own by flavoring them with herbs and spices. Nothing better than this briny goodness with a glass of cabernet. 
  2. Cheese cubes - serve both aged and fresh kinds of cheese and try to incorporate sharp and mild ones to suit every palate. Pecorino Romano, bocconcini, Havarti, Parmigiano Reggiano, provolone, brie, gouda, provolone. You can marinate bocconcini or cubed feta in olive oil flavored with red chili flakes and fresh or dried herbs.  
  3. Cured cold cuts - salami, prosciutto, ham, sardines, pepperoni, turkey breast. 
  4. Vegetables - Add a burst of color and freshness, choose from an assortment of jarred marinated artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, pearl onions, roasted red peppers, capers, garlic. Or cut up some fresh carrots, radish. 
  5. Fresh and dried fruit - Bright and colorful array of fresh and dried fruit will add an oomph to the antipasti. Choose from fresh figs, grapes, cantaloupe, dried apricots, grape tomatoes, berries.  
  6. Nuts - walnuts, pine nuts, pecans, roasted almonds.
  7. Breads and flatbreads - Garlic bread, crackers, breadsticks, rustic white, focaccia with rosemary.
  8. Dips - marinara sauce, pesto sauce, hummus, tapenade.  
Just a few commonsense Antipasto Rules.
  • Keep it simple and rustic so as not to overpower the main course, unless this is an appetizer and cocktails only party.  
  • Antipasto should always complement the main meal that you plan to serve later. 
  • To make interesting and eye-pleasing antipasti make sure to blend flavors, colors, and textures. Give your guests a choice of sweet, savory, spicy, sharp, crisp and crunchy. 

The antipasti above consists of three varieties of olives, pickled pearl onions, pepperoncini, sweet pickled bud peppers, 2 types of cheese one sharp and one mild , cured meats - ham and salami, fresh figs, sundried apricots, walnuts, breadsticks and Caprese salad bites (mini bocconcini, grape tomato and fresh basil leaf on a stick sprinkled with a little salt and pepper and drizzled with balsamic reduction).

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