The word antipasto when translated into Italian literally means "before food." It is a platter that usually consists of an assortment of foods such as smoked meats, cheese, fish, and vegetables meant to stimulate the appetite. I don't know about you, but a table full of such delicacies not only stimulates my appetite, but it is able to act as the star of my whole meal! During the summer months, I much prefer to eat lighter meals, several times throughout the day. So a thoughtfully prepared antipasto platter is enough to keep me happy for a while and is satisfying enough to be served as dinner. And besides, who could resist an array of gourmet cheeses, meats, fruits, and bread? Not me that's for sure, especially if its paired with a delicious red wine!
I put this in my Cheaters Handbook category because I think it is a great idea for my frightened future foodies to consider for entertaining. An antipasto platter is extremely simple to prepare, as you just need to purchase the food and present it nicely! This allows the host to be relieved of the pressures of cooking for guests, and will have more time to spend with guests, rather than in the kitchen. Although this seems very basic, you are still able to use your imagination when selecting the various foods that you will serve. For instance, try to select a type of cheese that you have never tried before, like a Cumin Spiced Gouda, which is presented in the photos above. You may also like to experiment with different types of platters. Why not take your platter to another destination? Give your platter a Japanese theme and present to your guests a selection of Japanese appetizers paired with saki.
In the antipasto platter above I have presented:
- Serrano Ham
- Sliced Cantaloupe
- Spiced Green and Black Olives
- Creamy Havarti
- Spiced Cumin Gouda
- Blue Cheese
- Jarlsberg Reserve
- Green Grapes
- Fresh Baguette
- Gyoza (a random addition, I know, but I love the stuff and really wanted it!)
Tip: When making up your platter, try to look for different colours. For example, get two different types of bread, one whole grain, one white. Also, try different coloured grapes. It will make your platter appear even more appetizing!