The antipasto platter is a guest-pleasing appetizer course no matter if you serve up 2 options or 20. Ideally, your platter is filled with items that don’t require constant refrigeration, and each item is easy to pick up and eat, no slicing or spinning necessary. Typical fare includes cured meats, hard cheeses, fresh and dried fruit, pickled items of all kinds, and of course bread.

Traditionally the platter is wood, but it’s not a hard-and-fast rule (sure makes for a spectacular presentation, though). You can vary your items to suit any taste and dietary restrictions. It really is the best!

Antipasto is impressive with as little or as much effort as you want to put into it. Not only fit for a group get together, provide antipasto at a shower, a birthday celebration, retirement party, you can even design the Friday office potluck to be one giant antipasto platter. If you plan to serve a platter as part of an outdoor celebration in hot weather, consider serving guests inside, or focusing on vegetables, fruit, nuts, and pickles.

Classy AppsMeats tend to be deli-style, cured and sliced almost paper-thin. You really just want to give guests a taste, not fill them up before serving the meal you spent all day preparing. Salami, prosciutto, and mortadella are popular, but you can choose whatever you like. Tempt taste buds with a small variety of mild and spicy flavours.

Cut hard cheese into small cubes and choose flavourful morsels like blue, herbed Havarti, and old cheddar. If you’ve got picky eaters or lots of space, you can include a wide variety of cheeses to suit all tastes. Sometimes guests just want something salty and aren’t fond of sharp cheese, and especially since they leave the flavourful bites for us, we honour those guests.

Fresh fruit isn’t as likely to fill guests up too much so you can provide these more abundantly than meat and cheese. Reduce fuss by serving grapes, seasonal berries, and figs. If you’ve got a little more time, slices of pear, apple, and melon go nicely with the meats and cheeses.

Pickled vegetables are a fan-favourite of the antipasto platter. Provide your favourite pickles along with a variety of olives, and roasted red peppers. You will want to serve these in small bowls to prevent the brines and oils from leaching into the board and passing unwanted taste onto your other foods. Let guests make up their own flavor combinations!

Other considerations include crackers, fresh bread with oil dippers, nuts, fresh vegetables, and dried fruits. To be a thoroughly thoughtful host, ensure that items don’t touch each other allowing those with dietary restrictions and sensitivities full access to the items that catch their eye.

National Pasta can help you put together a memorable antipasto platter with our authentic European pickles and marinated vegetables including sundried cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, hot pickled eggplant, roasted red peppers, and more.

No need to spend hours preparing your main meal too, pick up our cabbage rolls or chicken parmagiano while you’re here, and enjoy more time with your guests. Stop by our shops today in Cambridge at 25 Struck Court unit 3 or Guelph at 715 Wellington Street, West.

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