Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Monday, January 3, 2011



My favorite appetizer these days is the antipasto platter. Antipasto is the Italian dish that means "before the meal." Not antipasta -- before pasta -- but, before the meal -- pasto. The lovely thing about antipasto is you can use just about anything on the platter. I use several kinds of olives, at least one kind of spicy meat, usually fresh mozzarella, artichokes, pepperoncini, and often marinated mushrooms. If you or your guests are not olive people, or a spicy meat people, there is always something on an antipasto platter that suits your tastes. You can use fresh vegetables, marinated or not, nuts, roasted peppers -- really almost anything goes.

When I make an antipasto, I usually prepare the platter ahead of time (a couple hours), chill it well, and then dress it at the last minute. I use a mild white balsamic dressing, but some folks just drizzle it with olive oil -- whatever floats your boat. If you add artichokes and mushrooms to yours, marinate them in the dressing a few hours ahead of time and then add them when you dress the platter.

Below are approximate quantities for a platter that will feed 6 to 8 people.


1/2 pound salami and or spicy ham (Cappacola) or prosciutto
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed or sliced in strips
1 jar green olives, drained
1 jar kalamata or other black olives, drained
1 can quartered artichokes, drained and marinated in 3 T. dressing
6 oz. button mushrooms, trimmed and cleaned and marinated in 1/3 cup dressing
small jar pepperoncini, drained
small head bib leaf lettuce, washed

1/2 c. white balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic,
2 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

Arrange lettuce leaves on a large platter. 
Arrange olives and pepperoncini on top of lettuce in piles, leaving room for artichokes and mushrooms. Roll meat and arrange between piles of olives and peppers (if you are not serving immediately, it helps to skewer several meat rolls together with toothpicks and leave them that way until serving time). Top with chunks or sticks of cheese. Cover and chill until serving time.

Mix dressing ingredients in a lidded jar (shake vigorously) and chill until serving time (if you are serving artichokes and mushrooms, use dressing to marinate, reserving the leftover dressing).
At serving time, add artichokes and mushrooms to platter. Drizzle platter with leftover marinade as well as that which remains in the jar.


Heather said...

What a beautiful plate! My husband would love this.

Sara said...