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.

 HOW-TO-BUILD-THE-PERFECT-ANTIPASTO-PLATTER-EASY-ENTERTAINING

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?