Sunday October 19, was my sweetie’s birthday and I wanted to do something special for him to mark the occasion. Last year I went all out so I felt some pressure to not lower the bar this time around. The only problem was that the previous week had been one of the most draining ones I’ve had mentally and physically in quite some time. I was completely burnt out and just couldn’t raise the energy to stand over a hot stove. That’s when I decided to try my hand at an antipasto platter!
Antipasto means “before the meal” and is the traditional first course of a formal Italian meal. Traditional antipasto includes cured meats, marinated vegetables, olives, various cheeses, such as provolone or fresh mozzarella and peperone which are marinated small green bell peppers, (not to be confused with the sausage, pepperoni). Other additions may be anchovies, or bruschetta (toasted bread, upon which one may put the meats or cheeses). The antipasto is usually topped off with some olive oil.
I’ve seen these in cookbooks for years, as well as on numerous cooking shows. The only problem was that traditionally these platters include cured meats (usually pork, a huge kosher no-no), as well as cheeses (combining meat and diary? a double kosher no-no), so if I was going to do this it would take a few adjustments on my end.
Inspired by the challenge I quickly came up with an assortment that combined some of his fave foods, as well as some new ones I wanted to introduce him to.
When all done, the platter looked like this
Clockwise from the top: Dates, Channa (chickpeas), Mozarella, Roasted red peppers, Tinned asparagus, Smoked salmon, Black olives, Sundried tomatoes, Brie
I finished everything off by drizzling olive oil over the red peppers, asparagus, smoked salmon, olives, mozzarella and tomatoes. I then sprinkled them with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. A little honey was then poured over the dates, grapes and brie. Assorted crackers were all that were needed to bring everything together.
I was quite proud of myself
Needless to say, when J saw the platter his eyes bulged out of his head! He felt like an emperor he said We had so much fun coming up with different combinations, more than I had imagined. This was one idea that yielded greater smiles and joy than I had imagined, and it’s definitely one that I recommend if you’re looking to entertain on short notice, or don’t want to spend much time on preparation and layout