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Learn How to Create a Scrumptious Antipasto Platter

If you’re hosting a few friends or a holiday open house, along with your special wine choices and cocktails, try serving a beautiful platter arranged with cheeses, meats, olives, and more. Antipasto literally means “before the meal.” But with its colorful arrangement of marinated vegetables, olives, rich cheeses, and cured meats, this traditional Italian first course has also come to be synonymous with the perfect party fare. With just a few simple steps, you can easily assemble an assortment of tasty little bites into an attractive and impressive pre-dinner or party-perfect spread.

  • 3–5 of your favorite cheeses, enough for a couple of ounces per person
  • 2–3 of your favorite deli meats, enough for a couple of ounces per person, thinly sliced
  • Your favorite pâté, enough for an ounce or two per person
  • 8 fresh figs, quartered
  • About a pound of green or red grapes
  • 2–3 cups mixed marinated olives
  • 8 oz dried apricots and/or dates
  • 2–3 cups mixed nuts
  • A selection of sliced artisanal bread(s) and crackers

1. Choose the cheeses and meats for a variety of textures and flavors. Start with something soft and creamy like Brie or Camembert and add a piece of tangy goat cheese and a sharp cheddar. Complete your cheese selection with a flavorful Stilton or Gorgonzola, an aged Alpine cheese, and a nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano. Add your favorite thinly sliced deli meats including dried sausages, coppa, prosciutto, or bresaola.

2. Artfully arrange the cheeses, meats, and pâté on a large platter or cutting board. To bring out their full flavor, serve at room temperature. Add fresh and dried fruit and small bowls of nuts and marinated olives.

3. Fill a basket with slices of artisanal breads and crackers and let everyone serve themselves.


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