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How To: Create Your Own Antipasto Platter

Charcuterie assortment and olives on wooden backgroundWe all need a few dishes in our repertoire that are super simple, but are also super impressive. No other dish fits this description quite like the antipasto platter. It is so ridiculously easy that even the most clueless chef that is afraid of the kitchen can do it while making everyone that anyone who sees it ooh and ahh. It is perfect to bring to any fancy or casual dinner party that you are having with your friends. Most of the ingredients can be found at your local deli. However, just remember that the fresher, the better. The fresher your ingredients, the better that everything is going to taste.

What is an Antipasto Platter?

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An antipasto platter is a classic Italian dish that is meant to be eaten before the main course. It is comprised of a selection of meats, cheeses, pickled items, and other fresh ingredients. They are then laid out on a platter so that they look beautiful.

Meats

Authentic Italian meats are the secret to any antipasto platter. Make sure that you go to an authentic Italian deli to ensure that you are getting the best meats for your antipasto plate. Your Italian deli should have a selection of:

  • Imported Salami
  • Imported Pepperoni
  • Mortadella
  • Capicola

Tell your deli to slice your meats thinly, but not paper thin. It needs to be easy for people to pick the meat off from the platter.      

Cheeses

This can be a combination of harder cheeses and soft cheeses. Having a nice variety will give some nice options. Some basics that you need to make sure are on that platter are:

  • Imported Provolone
  • Imported Romano

You will want to ask your deli to slice the cheese as well. They can either be thin slices or hearty chunks. You have the ability to chose how you want to serve it.

Marinated Items

For this part of the platter we recommend that you get a selection of:

  • Olives
  • Marinated mushrooms
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Fresh fruit
  • Pepperoncinis

Along with everything mentioned, you will also want to get some hearty crackers or small toasted slices of bread. This will act as a base for the rest of your items.

Display

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The display of your antipasto platter is really what will make it look impressive. If you simply slap your meats and cheeses on a plate, it will not be as appetizing as a carefully laid out dish. Use a wooden cutting board or glass tray as the platter and carefully and delicately lay out all of the meats and cheeses. Find some nice bowls to place the marinated items in.

As soon as you bring this into a party with a fine bottle of wine, everyone will think that you are the classiest person there, even though all you needed to do was make a short stop into your local deli and get a few specialty items. If you are the one that is hosting the party and you want one less thing to worry about, you may want to consider having an Italian restaurant do the catering.

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