What is not to like about an appetizer that most everyone can agree upon?
An antipasto platter is that appetizer platter that has just something for just about everyone.
What to Put on an Antipasto Platter
I have always been a fan of the cheese with everything else appetizer.
I love cheese and I love to pair it with other foods too.
When it comes to entertaining a group of people or simply a small crowd, an Antipasto Platter can be the perfect appetizer. These ideas on what to put on that platter will please just about everyone.
Antipasto is also known as the appetizer that is served in Italian meals.
If you have ever enjoyed an antipasto appetizer, you know that there is something on that platter that would please about everyone in the room. Antipasto has a bit of everything to get people started when it comes to enjoying a great meal.
Antipasto platters are known for their meats and cheeses.
The specifics about which meats and cheeses can vary according to your taste, what you have on hand, what will compliment the oncoming meal, what else you may be serving, and even how traditional your antipasto platter preferences are.
For folks who enjoy a more traditional antipasto platter, you may enjoy taking a regional approach.
Regional as in what part of Italy you would like to base your platter on. For example, antipasto platters in the north of Italy will usually contain cured meats. You will see more fish on an antipasto platter that is based on the likes of the southern part of the country.
To make your antipasto platter pleasing, you should keep these pointers in mind:
- Have a variety of different kinds of food on your platter.
- Have a variety of different colors in order to please the eye.
- Use different shapes and sized of items to keep them individual and interesting.
- Add marinated vegetables such as mushrooms or artichokes.
- Crackers or toasted bread give folks something to enjoy their food with.
- Olives are almost always included in an antipasto tray. Using different kinds of olives can lend to a nice variety of taste and overall look of the platter.
- Keep the food choices simple and easy for everyone.
The basic items to include in on the antipasto platter:
Start with a selection of natural deli meats—maybe pepperoni, salami and prosciutto—then add mixed olives, a wheel of creamy brie, deviled eggs, roasted vegetables and crackers.
Vegetarian: Present marinated olives or olive tapenade, sliced semolina bread, fire-roasted peppers, vegetarian stuffed dolmas and roasted garlic hummus.
Seafood: This can be one of the most varied categories for antipasto. Consider a plate of mild crackers served with fish roe, sardines, anchovies, seared fresh tuna and smoked salmon, then add cream cheese, sliced marinated onions and capers.
Fresh Fruit and Nuts: Serve chunks of fresh cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon alongside natural deli meats, and then add toasted walnuts and roasted, salted pistachios.
Roasted Vegetables with Cheese: Pair roasted vegetables with tangy cheeses like feta, Gruyère or aged Manchego. For the roasted veggies, think about eggplant, beets, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, onions and garlic. (Look for roasted vegetables in the prepared foods section of the store, or simply toss raw veggies with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a 450°F oven until tender.)
Cheese and More Cheese: Ah, yes … we love the stuff. Look for out-of-the-ordinary cheeses like Rustica cheese with red peppers or black peppercorns, rosemary coated Manchego, Caciotta cheese with green olives, Gouda with mustard seeds or cumin, drunken goat cheese made with red wine and Sotocenere cheese with truffles and a hint of cinnamon. Then combine them with a few traditional ones like provolone or fresh mozzarella. Serve with slices of fresh bread.
Here are some ideas of what specific foods to put on an Antipasto Platter
- Olives- so many varieties to choose from!
- Peppers- red, sweet, or other marinated or fresh as well
- Marinated onions
- Smoked Salmon
- Mozzarella cheese (balls, slices, or squares)
- Tomatoes- dried or cherry
- Artichoke hearts
- Turkey sausage or peperoni
- Nuts such as pistachios or walnuts (shelled)
- Figs or Dates
- Romaine or lettuce leaves for display
- Celery, carrots, green onions, or radishes
- Crackers, bread, breadsticks or brushetta