Social Saturday: Building the Perfect Antipasto Platter

Sometimes, when you decide to entertain, you don’t want to fuss.  A good bottle of wine, some fancy cheese and quality salumi are all you need to have some friends by for a chin wag.

Whenever I make antipasto platters, I make sure to follow the same, simple steps to make a great dish with a variety of yummy bites.

Building the Perfect Antipasto Platter

Cheese

Make sure you get hard and soft varieties.  I also like to make sure a few countries are represented.  An Italian parmigiano, a creamy French brie, soft Swiss; just pick cheeses that you like and will give your guests a few different things to select from.

Meats

My meats are always Italian.  My mom’s famous soppressata, salami, mortadella, proscuitto, and capicolla.  You can also just get cold cuts like ham, pepperoni and turkey from the deli but I think the cured, Italian meats fancy up the dish and pair perfectly with any cheese.

Fruit

Your fruits will add much needed color and sweetness to the platter.  I love grapes, both red and green, because they are bite size and pair well with cheese.  I will also cut up small pieces of pineapple and melon.  Berries, depending on season, look beautiful scattered amongst the cheese to add pops of color.

Vegetables

I think French beans look beautiful and lend a great crispness and palate cleanser.  You can also cut up small broccoli or cauliflower florets.  Baby carrots are also a great choice.

Bread

Crackers and cut up pieces of fresh baguette can be served along side the dish or with in the platter.  If I have plenty of table space, I prefer to serve on the side so that they don’t get soggy or crumb up the dish.  Either way is fine.

Flowers

Finally, I use flowers along the edges to add more color and interest to the dish.  As people eat, they will get pushed to the side but for presentation, they make quite a statement.

So, now you know the rules.  Pop open some good wine, invite over some friends and be prepared to have a few laughs and some fun with very little effort.  Isn’t that the best kind of fun anyway?