Sunday, August 23, 2009

Antipasto Platter

WE HAVE ANOTHER WINNER and, yet again, I’m not the one who gets to announce. Boo-hoo. Keep taking a peek each day to hear who it is. Yep, it could be you!

Taking a lead from The Barefoot Contessa (SHOUT OUT TO INA),I thought I’d share one of my favorite ways to treat guests to appetizers. An antipasto platter. This even makes a fabulously easy dinner for my husband and myself.

What’s so wonderful is that you don’t have to prepare everything yourself. So many stores have these items all ready to go. Preparing an appetizingly scrumptious antipasto platter is all in the display. Serve with a zesty French bread or your favorite crackers and, voilá!

Hint: Make sure you go to the store with a list.


Basil leaves
Fresh buffalo mozzarella (small bite-sized balls)
Marinated red peppers
Pepper crusted salami
Olives (multi-colored and multi-sized for variety)
Artichoke hearts (from a can, in water)
Asparagus spears (cooked to a crisp tender and cooled)
Baby Tomatoes (I used yellow and red)
Olive Oil
Fresh figs [reserved for last]

Using a big platter, lay out the vegetables, cheese and meats in sections, the meats to the outside. Clump the veggies together, reds next to greens, etc. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika for color. Garnish with basil [which tastes terrific wrapped around the mozzarella and tomatoes.]

Lastly, layer the figs on the top. If figs aren’t in season, try pretty dried fruit like apricots. Either of these, wrapped in prosciutto, are a delicious bite!

For those with an adventurous spirit, you might add spicy pepperoncinis to the mix! They are also known as Tuscan peppers, sweet Italian peppers and gold Greek pepper.

Note: Buffalo mozzarella is made from the milk of domestic water buffalo. Apart from Italy, its birthplace, it is manufactured in many places including Southern California, Vermont, Australia and more!
Enjoy! And remember to "Say Cheese!" You can change the world, one smile at a time. And check out The Cheese Shop Mysteries, coming in 2010!


Also, before you leave us to visit another site, enter to win our weekly Mystery Lovers' Kitchen contest. The prize is a $25 gift certificate to the Williams-Sonoma kitchenware and gourmet food store. Just sign in to this blog and leave a comment or send an "Enter me!" e-mail with your first name and state to We announce the winners right here every Sunday. Best to all!


  1. I love antipasto! And this platter is gorgeous for a party. I also enjoy having the components on a plate in the fridge for a quick lunch.


  2. Oh swell, now I'm hungry! I just saw fresh figs at the market. May have to try them.

  3. Yum... this is my kind of lunch. Sounds wonderful. Thanks, Avery!


  4. Great ideas, Avery, especially for a nosh on a hot August evening. I think we'll do just what you suggest: slice up a fresh loaf of bread (from the Italian bakery up the street), open a chilled bottle of inexpensive wine, and have a romantic picnic dinner on our back porch. Especially convenient because we're having a Staycation this year! LOL!

    "Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."
    Coffee Drawing Live Today @ 7 PM Eastern

  5. I love the addition of paprika...such a nice touch! I'm a big fan of the antipasto platter as a meal, so I'm bookmarking this one! Thank you!

  6. **sigh** Papa George Pizza, Easthampton, Mass. made the best Antipasto salad...there must have been 3 lbs of meat in this dish, and it was good for at least 3 meals. Great List of "basics" to make my own! Thanks!!

  7. The platter is so attractive that it must be hard for the first person to break the beautiful pattern - but of course they will get a wonderful tasty reward.

    Helen from Virginia

  8. Thanks, Helen, re: the attractive comment. It is a pretty platter, but I will say NO ONE had any trouble breaking the pattern! Tee-hee.