In Italian, antipasto (antipasti in the plural) means foods eaten before dinner. But in line with today’s lighter eating trend, more people are opting to serve their guests generous platters of varied antipasti in lieu of dinner.
Antipasti can be as diverse as you want to make them. They can be prepared well ahead of time, leaving hosts free to chat with their guests and guests free to nibble whatever and as much as they choose.
Basically, an antipasto is a mix of meat, cheese, olives, bread and crackers, nuts, fresh fruit and several different kinds of cheese.
Here are some suggested menu elements:
Bruschetta, grilled bread rubbed with garlic and served with chopped tomatoes, marinated artichokes, olive oil, salt and pepper
Prosciutto, dry-cured Italian ham, served with slices of cantaloupe
Genoa salami and Cacio de Roma cheese served with thinly sliced Artisanal bread
A selection of olives and tapenades served with water crackers
Almonds served with fresh figs
Pepperoni and salami served with fire-roasted peppers
Deviled eggs and cherry tomatoes
Seared fresh tuna and smoked salmon served with cream cheese, sliced marinated onions and capers
Roasted eggplant served with aged Manchego cheese
Asparagus with balsamic tomatoes and goat cheese
A selection of cheeses and fresh fruits
Just lay it all out on platters, provide small plates, napkins and forks for your guests and watch them enjoy!