Antipasto is a great spread that is both beautiful and tasty. And guess what? It could be easy, too. Here are a few tips from my mama to you on how to throw together a beautiful assortment that will have your guests in awe.
Always have real bread and fruit
Crackers are not enough. Yes, you should have them to pair with cheese and caponata, but be sure to also include a real loaf of seeded Italian bread. Not only is it a hardy carb that everyone loves, but it’s very visually appealing. Guests can even make mini sandwiches if they please or dip it in olive oil.
Fruit is a great addition because it cuts all the savory flavors featured in antipasto. After a few slices of rich cheese and salami, something cold and sweet is very satisfying. Grapes are traditional, but you can incorporate berries, figs, or even citrus. We used grapes and strawberries!
Have at least two meats
There are both hard and soft meats to choose from. It’s wise to have at least one of each. Some guests prefer hard to soft, or visa versa. Soft is a great option for presentation because it could be bent, folded, or rolled. Hard meats could be fanned out. Also, be sure to make the two meats different. Don’t have a hard pepperoni and a soft pepperoni. Have a hard sopressata and soft salami, for instance.
Have a hard cheese
Hard cheese is both delicious and visually appealing. Utilize the decorative rind in your presentation. *Pro tip: feature the hard cheese with something sweet such as honey or preserves. Hard cheeses such as provolone or parmigiano-reggiano are often super pungent and are complimented well with something sweet. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the Merlot BellaVitano. It goes great with honey, and it super yummy! Plus, a small dish of honey with a piece of honeycomb is beautiful.
Yes, a lot of people love roasted peppers, olives, or pickled mushrooms, but some guests may not enjoy those strong flavors. Always serve something that everyone loves, such as a cheddar cheese.
Presentation is key
Two things are essential in regards to presentation. The first is to have a lot of color. Yellow cheeses, purple grapes, red peppers, golden bread… all beautiful touches that are attention grabbing. The second key is to have fun with the presentation. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and a little messy is even better. Different shaped bowls and dishes are great, too.