Antipasto Platter Makes a Great Thanksgiving Appetizer

by Hilary Gauntt on November 23, 2014

We have been the fortunate guests for many years now at our dear friends the Dudeks for Thanksgiving.  The make-up of the group continues to change as we lose dear ones and add babies and in-laws; life goes on and holidays must evolve.  My assignment has been the same every year – bring a giant antipasto platter!  It’s got something for everyone, and all those vegetables won’t ruin your appetite for the feast to come.  A couple of years ago I switched to making two medium sized trays, one for the deck and one for the living room.  The vegetarians in the group are always grateful, and what doesn’t disappear before dinner will add to the variety of left-overs when the refrigerator is raided the next day.  There is really no recipe for this; just line a large platter with some attractive lettuce and pile on a wide variety of vegetables, meats and cheeses.  I usually marinate the mushrooms, artichokes and mozzarella balls, but it’s all up to you!

Here is a list of possible ingredients:

Several types of olives

roasted red peppers

artichoke hearts

mushrooms

pepperoncinis

asparagus, boiled or roasted briefly until crisp tender ( wrapped in prosciutto optional)

cheery tomatoes

fresh small mozzarella balls

sliced provolone cheese

string cheese torn into strips

hearts of palm

baby carrots

salami – several types rolled into narrow tubes

sun dried tomatoes

Parmesan cheese chunks or crisps (see note)

You can put this together earlier in the day, cover with tin foil and refrigerate. Use any good Italian dressing for the marinade.  I like to drizzle some of the dressing over the other vegetables after arranging them on the platter.  Serve with little plates and napkins, and sliced baguettes and bread sticks. I know I misspelled “cherry ” tomatoes above, but it was too adorable to correct.

Note: To make cheese crisps (which everyone loves!)  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  On a large baking sheet lined with a silicone mat, parchment paper or tin foil, make 4 flat circles of 1 cup coarsely grated parmigiano-reggiano. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until the cheese looks golden and lacy.  Remove the cheese rounds from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for one to two minutes, then loosen them with a spatula.  Let them cool completely.  Break into pieces and scatter over the vegetables at serving time.

anti pasta

 

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