Antipasto, which literally means "before the meal," is one of those contributions for sharing.Similar to French hors d'oeuvres,Spanish tapas, Portuguese petiscos or couvert, it’s a beloved combination of small bites of tasty food, usually accompanied by wine and meant to stimulate the appetite before digging into the main meal.
It need not be the appetiser it can be adapted to make an imaginative main course for sharing round the table.For groups of friends who are holidaying together this summer,wherever you are in the world this can be turned into a perfect self catering option.
How can a little or no-cook dinner,particularly in summer or when on holiday, not appeal to most people? The thought of returning home from a day at the beach or a hard day at the office and have to put a meal together, be it for your family or group of friends, can be a daunting task.Even the shopping can be a fun exercise if some or all of the recipients are involved.Once home, all that has to be done is boil a pot of pasta,season it and assemble an attractive large platter of optional add-ons.
Whether at home or on holiday, this new twist to an antipasto platter is something that carnivores, fish and chipocrites, veggies and gluten intolerants can share and share alike.
When it's done correctly this concept will bring a relaxed spirit and friendly, casual conversation to your meal.No matter what the occasion or time of day, serving antipasto is the perfect way to slow things down and savour great food.From cured meats to anchovies there is something to please everyone.Whats more it encourages experimentation.You might build up a combination of elements on your plate that just dont work together as a taste sensation and that is all part of the fun. The main thing about this style of eating is that each person round the table can create their own variation of the same core dish- Pasta.One word of warning, don´t be tempted to cook the pasta with a tomato sauce-that is so not the point and will destroy the concept.
Antipasto plates are simply colourful offerings of raw or grilled vegetables—think artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers or pickled garlic—salty olives, rustic artisan breads, natural deli meats, small bites of seafood delicacies and rich cheeses.
With antipasto, it’s always best to keep things simple. Narrow your choices down to two or three items, then incorporate a few fresh, seasonal vegetables and you’re set. Try these simple ideas on for size:
- Jarred marinated artichoke hearts
- Jarred pequillo peppers
- Sliced tomatoes marinated in an Italian dressing, cherry tomatoes, green olives
- Minty peas and broad beans
- Thinly sliced salami and soft fresh creamy goats cheese
- Torn up presunto serrano or prosciutto
- Home cured sundried tomatoes
- Sardines and anchovies or boquerones
- Olives, capers, cornichons
- Pine nuts served with fresh figs in season
- Homemade sundried tomato pesto tomato relish,green olive tapenade
- Tapenade of olives, sundried tomatoes and basil
- Cooked prawns and other shell fish,smoked salmon
- Home grilled and roasted vegetables fresh mozzarella
- Avocado and handfuls of fresh rocket basil and parsley
"Bom apetite" as they say in Portugal