This Antipasto Platter is one of my favorite arrangements to prepare for parties, holidays, and gatherings. It’s traditionally the first course as an appetizer for a formal Italian meal, and it’s easy to put together.
Cheese boards get the most attention when it comes to appetizers, but I honestly like an antipasto platter even more.
You may be wondering, what’s the difference between a cheese board an antipasti? There are many similarities, of course.
This platter has cheese too, and I do serve crackers on the side. But to me, an antipasto platter has more charcuterie and Mediterranean items like olives, pepperoncini, peppers, and artichokes.
Like a good cheese board, much of the work is buying and arranging the goodies you find at the store, rather than actual cooking. This is always appreciated when you need to focus your attention on mains like Prime Rib, Lasagna, or Braised Lamb Shanks.
How to Make and Assemble:
This is mostly about arranging a selection of Italian meats, cheeses, and vegetables on a dish, and as you can imagine, this selection varies from place to place and person to person.
Most of the items will likely be pre-purchased. However, I do like to flavor my own fresh mozzarella.
Marinate Your Own Ciliegine Mozzarella Balls
Place a drained container of fresh ciliegine mozzarella in a bowl, and add flaky salt like Maldon, freshly ground black pepper, fresh thyme leaves, freshly chopped rosemary, and a really good extra virgin olive oil:
Toss this all to coat using a spoon:
Very easy, and barely counts as cooking. Now here’s what else you’ll want to add.
Ideas for What to Include on the Board:
- Genoa Salami
- Chub Salamis
- Marinated Fresh Mozzarella
- Panino (Mozzarella Sticks Wrapped in Prosciutto)
- Parmigiano Reggiano
- Mini Breadsticks
- Flatbread Crackers
- Round Crisps
My Formula for a Great Tray:
I recommend 2-3 meats, 2-3 cheeses, some type of olive, definitely artichokes, and definitely peppers, as the minimum for any arrangement.
In today’s antipasto platter, I included prosciutto, genoa salami, soppressata, panino (mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto), marinated mozzarella, gouda, marinated artichokes, marianted asparagus, cheese stuffed cherry peppers, pepperoncini, and lecino olives.
Board Tips and FAQ
I prefer to set the tray on a board and arrange the crackers and breadsticks on the board around it. Because there are a lot of marinated ingredients on the plate, the crackers are prone to getting soggy if they touch those items. Crackers also take up a lot of room and I like to serve an ample amount, so I leave the pricy items to the actual platter.
Because the crackers aren’t stored on the platter, the whole plate can be covered with plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for 2 days.
Aim for an even balance of meats, cheeses, and veggies. I like to do 3 types of meat, 3 cheeses, at least one olive, always artichokes (because I love them!) and peppers for a bright color.
For the Platter:
- genoa salami
- panino (mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto)
- marinated mozzarella recipe below, or use store-bought
- cheese stuffed cherry peppers
- marinated artichokes
- marinated asparagus
For the Marinated Mozzarella:
- 8 ounces ciligiene
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
- 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the Board:
- mini breadsticks
- flatbread crackers
- round crisps
- Select a large platter and a large wooden board for it to rest on. The platter will have the meats, cheeses, and vegetables, and the board will hold the crackers around the platter.
- Prepare the marinated mozzarella by tossing all the ingredients in a bowl, and let it sit while you begin arranging the other ingredients.
- Place 3 meats on different sections of the platter, making sure to fan out the slices of salami or prosciutto.
- Begin filling in with groups of vegetables. Since the olives are so small, I like to put those in a bowl, but otherwise I place groups of items like artichokes or cherry peppers in heaps on the platter.
- Cut the cheeses into bite-sized wedges or cubes, if necessary. Place on the platter in groups, along with the marinated mozzarella.
- Once the platter is filled, place it on the wooden board, then arrange the breadsticks and crackers all around it. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.