Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Okay folks, this is clearly not a recipe! I just thought it could be useful to some of you readers to share my favourites for a perfect antipasti platter - basically a way-out for those days when you don't want to cook too much! Sometimes, you spend a lot of time preparing a main meal and a dessert for guests (on this particular day, I was having oven-baked lemon halibut with sauteed garlic rapini and chocolate and lemon tartlets) and you don't want to spend too much time on an appetizer. On those days, or the hot summer days where you're only having a light meal with a cool glass of wine, an antipasti platter is always a great option. It's easy, pretty to serve and incredibly flavourful. All guests can make their own little plate from your selection and pick and choose what they like.
Here are some of my suggestions for a perfect antipasti platter. Start with some cured ham - you can choose an array of different kinds (I would suggest bresaola, prosciutto, rosette de lyon and coppa), a selection of good quality olives (I love kalamata, greek olives as well as garlic and almond-stuffed green olives). Arrange the cured meat and olives on one platter. The only work here is to toast some fresh baguette for an extra touch. Cut the baguette into slices, drizzle a little olive oil and set in a warm oven. Once the bread is just crusty, remove from the oven and rub the inside of the bread with a peeled clove of garlic. This is a small and easy step but it really makes a big difference as far as flavour goes!
On another platter, choose about 5 or 6 items amongst oil-preserved sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, caper berries, sweet roasted garlic cloves, mini buffalo mozzarella balls and artichoke hearts. If you're serving this as a complete meal, I would suggest adding a simple lettuce salad with an array of chopped herbs (chives, parsley, coriander) dressed with a basic olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. This recipe is just a guideline to the platter I served here, but let your imagination run free!
6 slices of prosciutto (finely sliced)
1 cup of mixed olives
1 baguette, cut into slices
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup of caper berries
1/4 cup of roasted garlic
Arrange nicely on 2 or 3 platters, serving the bread freshly toasted. Enjoy!