The goal of an Italian Antipasto Platter is to please your guests, and give them something savory to nibble on with a glass of wine and good conversation. An amazing Italian Antipasto is made with anything that shows love for your friends and family. Feel free to add M&M Peanuts and Little BBQ Wieners if you think that would be a hit with your guests. However, these traditional Italian ingredients are a good start. Be creative.
The artful part of an Antipasto is offering an array of colors and flavors; look for savory, sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, colorful, briney, meaty, and creamy. Cut or slice quality ingredients into bite-size pieces that can be easily picked up with your fingers. Arrange them to look as appealing as they taste. Garnish with fresh basil for a finished look. Starting from the top left, this is the list of ingredients I typically use in an Antipasto platter.
Rolled slices of Proscuitto di Parma
Slices of Provolone Cheese
Roasted Red Pepper Strips
Ciliegine (small balls of Mozzarella Cheese)
Large Sicilian Caper Berries
Mixed Green and Black Kalamata olives
Cubes of aged Asiago Cheese
Dried Calymyrna Figs
Slices Crusty Baguette Bread
Italian Sesame Seed bread sticks
Some other ideas to consider adding are: stuffed olives, marinated artichoke hearts, eggplant and/or mushrooms, fresh grape tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted and salted peanuts and mixed nuts (warm them for extra flavor), spicy slices of pepperoni and Capicola salami, celery and carrot sticks, Pepperocini, Pepperdew peppers, fresh red and yellow pepper sticks, and roasted garlic gloves. I could go on but I am sure you get the idea.
The key components of Antipasto are any combination of deli meats, cheese, olives, marinated and fresh-cut vegetables, dried fruits, and salted nuts. The options are endless. A good crusty bread or thin bread sticks accompany the nibbles. One great aspect of Antipasto is that many of these items can be stored in your pantry or refrigerator for a last-minute snack. You can enjoy an Italian Antipasto Platter anytime! Serve it with cocktails before dinner, as a midnight snack, for a light lunch or even for breakfast.
Here is an Antipasto Platter made by my sister Marisa for Christmas Eve. We always look forward to her creative Antipasto Platters for all to nosh while we were prepare the Feast of the Seven Fishes.
I don’t have a specific recipe to share. Just pick quality ingredients and arrange on a platter. Enjoy it with some wine, and people you love.