This time of year is filled with holiday parties and fun get-togethers, and most importantly good food. If you’ve been invited to a festive shin dig this season, one of the most crowd pleasing appetizers you can take along is an antipasto platter. Even if you’re the party host, this platter makes an excellent option to serve guests while the final touches are being put on the main course. With a mix of homemade goods and a few store bought items, assembling the platter saves time and makes for an impressive presentation. While sipping on a glass of wine, guests can pick and choose different items to munch on, making it a conversation piece and making you the popular party-goer.
Antipasto literally translates to “before the meal.” The traditional first course of a formal Italian meal, typical ingredients can include cured meats, olives, peperoncini (hot chili peppers), mushrooms, anchovies, artichoke hearts, various cheeses, pickled meats and vegetables in oil or vinegar. Now, I love any platter that offers versatility and a mix of homemade and store bought items. Personally, I’m not a fan of salami, but I do enjoy pepperoni, so I use that instead. Especially for the holiday season, I love to add festive touches like spiced nuts and fresh cranberries. You could even give your antipasto platter a Southern spin by including homemade pimento cheese and Georgia pecans.
Just like decorating a room, when assembling a party platter, always consider the colors and textures. Bright orange dried apricots look great next to sweet peppadew red peppers. Tiny, tart, crunchy cornichons (those adorable small green pickles we all know and love) are perfect for adding texture and various shades of green to the mix. Depending on the number of guests you plan to serve, the platter can be assembled on a large cutting board or a favorite platter. If using a platter, layer it with big green leaves of romaine for a good base, then pile the various meats, cheeses, nuts and vegetables around the platter until they’re pleasing to the eye. A loaf of French bread sliced thinly is a nice touch to include, especially with spreadable cheeses. An antipasto platter can get expensive, so I recommend keeping your board choice to a reasonable size. Also, be sure to contain ingredients such as fresh mozzarella in smaller dishes, like ramekins, so the liquids don’t run across the platter. It’s fun to display tall pretzel sticks in tall glasses too.
Watch my Facebook live video to see how I put together an antipasto platter for a New Year’s Eve party. No matter what holiday, your friends and family will enjoy every bite. Scroll down for my recipe!
Some Kinda Good Holiday Antipasto Platter
- Herbed Goat Cheese
- Fresh Mozzarella Rounds
- Fresh Parmesan
- Homemade Herb Crackers, such as Ina Garten’s Parmesan and Thyme Crackers
- French Baguette
- Fresh Cranberries
- Spiced Nuts
- Peppadew Peppers
- Dried Apricots
- Pretzel Sticks
Make the crackers and spiced nuts in advance. Assemble all ingredients on a platter size of your choice, depending on the size of your gathering. Enjoy!
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Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a freelance writer, entertainer and food enthusiast who writes and speaks about her love of good food and the Coastal South. A Food Network Star finalist, she is the Statesboro Herald food columnist and host of SKG-TV on YouTube. A Georgia Southern University alumna, Rebekah also attended Savannah Technical College’s Culinary Institute of Savannah. To learn more, connect with Some Kinda Good on social media, or visit RebekahFaulk.wix.com/RebekahFaulk.