Monday, May 2, 2011

Antipasto Tray Appetizer

Today we are putting together an antipasto tray as an appetizer for our meal. The great thing about an antipasto plate is that a chef that is just starting out can put one together easily, as most platters are assembled with ingredients that are ready to eat when purchased.  A well stocked pantry makes it  simple to put together an antipasto tray  quickly and at the last minute. It's a great idea to stock up on a few non-perishable gourmet items so you have them when you need them.

Choose your items from a few or all of the following categories:
Breads~such as French or Italian Bread slices, Breadsticks, Pita Breads, Crackers
Meats~Dry Salami, Prosciutto, Pancetto, Ham
Vegetables~Marinated Sun Dried Tomatoes, Marinated Mushrooms, Roasted Artichokes, Capers,  Peppers,
                   Pepperoncini Peppers, Capers
Cheeses~Goat Cheese, Mozarella,Parmesan, Brie
Fresh/Dried Fruits~Cantaloupe, Grapes, Raspberries, Strawberries, Figs, Dates, Raisins, Cranberries,
Other Items~Tapenade, Hummus, Chutney.

For the antipasto tray we are making, I chose 3 cheeses~ Goat Cheese, Fresh Mozzarella, and Boursin. I used Roasted Red Peppers, Oven Roasted Artichoke, French Bread Slices, Whole Grain Wheat Crackers, and Dried Sliced Salami. I know there is a picture of asparagus above, but after I took the picture, I changed my mind about using it. I would have liked to use some other meats also, like Prosciutto or Pancetto, but we are a low salt household, so salami is all I used.
Everything I used for the platter was purchased ready to go, except for the artichoke. I oven roasted the artichoke, and it was very easy to do. The first thing you need to do is scrub the artichoke  to clean it up a little.     
Cut off the bottom stem from the artichoke so it can lay flat. Cut the tips off each of the leaves, so they are straight across.










Your artichoke should now look like this. Next, place the artichoke on 2 pieces of foil. Don't drown it in oil, but pour it into the artichoke so it gets into every level. You can also pour some balsamic vinegar in with the olive oil.



                    




                       

                                                      

  Place bits of garlic between the leaves of the artichoke.






        

 
                                                                                                                                                Double wrap the artichoke in foil.












                                   Bake in the oven for 1 hour @ 425. When the artichoke is done, pull the leaves apart to place on your plate.

Put all your platter ingredients together. Make your plate look stylish and appealing by grouping the colors together so they compliment each other.I put this antipasto platter together on a white plate. I think I should have used a plate color that contrast with all the white bread, green artichokes, and red peppers. I could have used lettuce as a base, or I have even used banana leaves in the past. Use your creativity. That's what makes cooking and entertaining fun!



If you want to know more about artichokes and different ways to prepare them, you can get more info at www.oceanmist.com. Check it out!

If you have any questions about any part of this antipasto platter blog, please send me an email. You can reach me at  thefreshmancook@hotmail.com. You can also say whatever you want in the comment section of my blog. I will be happy to answer you. I would love to see pics of your antipasto platters. Send them to me!!

Tomorrow we will make Tuscan Vegetable Soup. See you then. Thanks for stopping by!!






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