An Antipasto Platter is truly the easiest appetizer, and it’s perfect for entertaining because it can be assembled ahead of time! We sometimes make a whole meal out of it by adding lots of veggies to the platter with gluten free crackers to pair with the cheese. If you’re looking for a fool-proof recipe for a special occasion, look no further because this is the one for you! If you live near a good deli, you don’t even have to cook a single thing – just assemble and enjoy!
Our Antipasto making days started when we lived in Calgary, where we lived within a 10 minute drive of not 1, not 2, but 3 full scale Italian grocery stores! Needless to say, we were massively spoiled with 50+ different kinds of salami, all sorts of cheeses, and an entire deli complete with pre-made antipasto items.
Lina’s Italian Grocery, (pictures of foodie goodness here) was my favorite store, and I went every single week to pick up goodies for the weekend! Over time our weekend antipasto habit was born. Tyler assembles the antipasto on a platter while I cook dinner – then we nibble on goodies, and he helps me with the rest of the cooking. This tag-team approach has become one of our favorite ways to spend time together at the end of the week.
Now I know not everyone cooks together, but I think we could make the perfect case for it. You see, everyone needs to eat so it makes for the perfect way to spend more time together. During our immigration days when we were commuting 6 hours every weekend to see each other, there wasn’t much time to pursue hobbies, and that’s when we started cooking together! Turns out, cooking together makes for a great date night in!
Since we don’t live anywhere close to a store like Lina’s anymore, our antipasto platter has changed a bit. It’s still just as easy, and it’s much cheaper when you do a small amount of work yourself! And… by a small amount of work I mean simply roasting a few veggies for 6-8 minutes in the oven – now that’s pretty easy!
I choose asparagus because it’s my husband’s favorite, but we often make this with zucchini as well because it’s much cheaper in the middle of winter. I really love the roasted sweet mini peppers paired with cheeses, especially with goat cheese.
I’m writing the recipe for what’s on the Antipasto Platter in the pictures, but that’s not to say it’s all encompassing. We change our ‘recipe’ pretty much every time we make it, sometimes we just assemble 2-3 items for a pre-dinner snack for ourselves. If we’re having someone over for dinner, or making a dinner out of snacking, we tend to go all out!
- You will need 2-3 ounces per person if you're making a dinner out of snacking, and around ½ - 1 ounce per person if it's just antipasto before dinner.
- You will need 2-3 ounces of cheese per person if you're snacking for dinner, and around 1 ounce each if the snacking is followed by dinner.
- You will need 8 ounces of veggies per person if it's the full meal, but usually only about 1 ounce per person as a pre-dinner antipasto. Buying pre-done veggies in a big quantity can be expensive which is why I'm including a bit of instruction for roasting your own.
- You will need around 2 ounces of fresh veggies per person for a full snacking dinner, and just a few for pre-dinner snacking.
- If you're roasting veggies for your Antipasto Platter, preheat the oven to 450ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash and trim the veggies as needed depending on what you use, (such as trimming the ends from the asparagus) and arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Toss the veggies to thoroughly coat them before placing them in the oven. Roast for 6-8 minutes or until the veggies are just tender. Remove them from the oven to cool while you assemble your platter.
- Arrange your cheeses, meats, and fresh veggies on your choice of platter. I used a big marble board about 2' x 1½' with a piece of parchment paper in the middle. Add the warm roasted veggies and scatter a few smoked almonds around the platter.
- Serve with plenty of crackers to spread the soft cheeses on!
If you're ordering at a deli, you might be ordering in grams. In Canada I used to ask for 50 grams of each salami that I was buying, which is very close to 2 ounces.
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