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Monday, June 23, 2008

Antipasto Platter

Every Italian gathering always starts with antipasto which translate to ~before the pasta~ and it can be large or small.  I can't think of a single family gathering or celebration that did not consist of atleast 1 large tray of antipasto!In keeping with the true Italian tradition of food it is always better to go with a smaller antipasto with only a few different items that are of good quality then a huge platter of mediocre foods. Just gather some of the items below and assemble them into a kaleidoscope pattern on a large round platter.

~In choosing foods think of things you can pick up and eat with your fingers or a toothpick~

Fruits: melon balls (cantaloupe goes nicely with prosciutto), cherries canned or fresh, fresh in season strawberries, or clusters of grapes

Meats:  prosciutto rolled or in small mounds, salami or any other ham slices rolled , canned seafood of good quality such as Italian tuna in oil, anchovies, sardines, or octopus.

Cheese: fresh mozzarella sliced or in balls, provolone or Swiss cheese slices rolled up, a wedge of Parmesan or other hard cheese with a small knife near by for removing in shards.

Vegetables: Use assorted olives marinated or cured, marinated artichoke hearts or hearts of palm, marinated mushrooms, capanato, pickled peppers, pickled garlic, grilled eggplant, roasted peppers, basil leaves, sliced ripe in season tomato.

Breads: Have baskets of bread sticks, Italian bread  (pieces can be removed by tearing) or slices of crusty bread

Condiments: Set out some regular olive oil, seasoned olive oil, and vinegar in small bottles with pouring spouts.

Extras: Small plates and toothpicks (colored cellophane tassels are always fun!) also come in handy.

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