Friday, December 3, 2010

Recipe - Antipasti & Marinated Vegetables

This is one of my favorite appetizers to serve at a party or before Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  I love the art of it.  Just look at the color and the texture.  The flavors are just as good.  The sweet marinated cherry peppers play nicely off the hard, salty cheese and the crisp and tangy vegetables.  Serve with good bread and good wine.  Each person can mix and match to suit their tastes.  It's a crowd pleaser!

Antipasti Platter

1 pound assorted sliced, gourmet deli meats (such as Italian salami, spicy capocollo, prosciutto,  and mortadella)
1/2 pound high quality Parmigiano-Reggiano, cut into irregular chunks
Marinated vegetables (recipe follows)
Marinated artichoke hearts
Kalamata or Marinated Olives
Peperoncini or marinated cherry peppers (or both)
1 loaf focaccia bread, sliced
1 box crispy Italian breadsticks

Arrange the meats, cheeses, and focaccia on a large platter. Place the marinated vegetables, olives and peppers in small serving bowls.  Place breadsticks, upright, in a decorative container. 

Marinated Vegetables
8 cups assorted vegetables (such as carrots, green beans, zucchini, cauliflower, and broccoli)
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Cut the carrots and zucchini into long stick, about ¼ wide.  Break cauliflower and broccoli into florets.  Blanch each type of vegetable to desired doneness.  They should be bright and crisp.  Stop the cooking by rinsing in cold water.  Drain well.

Whisk all remaining ingredients in bowl; toss with vegetable mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 2 days. Bring vegetables to room temperature. Season with salt and pepper; serve.

  • Find a good olive bar to buy the peppers and olives.  Any variety of interesting olives and peppers would work for the platter.
  • Use a variety of meats, vegetables, olives and peppers to create colorful appetizer.

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