The Art of Antipasti

Antipasto, meaning "before the meal," is meant to be something little to eat before your meal to entice the appetite and complement the meal. Italians know how to do appetizers right because these appetizers are light, yet delicious and easily shareable. Keep portion sizes small so appetites are still there before the main course meal. A lot of antipasti specialties are quite simple and take little time to prepare, especially if you use quality prepared ingredients. Our Napoli and Marino line offer many prepared vegetables and our Antica Corte and Il Buon Sapore brands offer specialty cured meats.

Bruschetta or Crostini

For those of you who don't know, crostini are thin, small slices of toasted bread, usually brushed with olive oil. They are then topped with rich and flavorful cheeses, seafood or vegetables. Bruschetta is toasted whole, wide slices of rustic bread with a similar concept. These are very versatile additions to any appetizer menu, as you can switch toppings based on the current seasonal favorites at the time. Try out different flavors and textures to find the perfect bite.

Crostini Ideas:

  • Crushed olives with a garlic spread 
  • Fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil, with a balsamic glaze
  • Gorgonzola cheese, bacon pieces and honey
  • Ricotta Sun-Dried Tomato

Bruschetta Ideas:

Antipasto Salad

An Antipasto salad is a mix of assorted antipasto ingredients like cured meats, pickled vegetables, cheeses and olives all tossed in some romaine or iceberg lettuce. This too, is easily customizable and fairly quick to put together. Serve with your favorite vinaigrette dressing. Recipe to Antipasto Salad is here, however, you can pretty much create it the way you desire.

An antipasto salad example.

Creating an Antipasto Platter

Antipasti platters are colorfully presented foods like marinated vegetables, salted olives, rustic bread, deli meats and rich cheeses. The beauty of an antipasti platter is that it’s flexible in how you make it. This is a great option to create for a catered event or on a smaller scale for your appetizer menu. A general guide on what to include can be found here.

What to keep in mind when creating the platter:

  • Being mindful of color- Make sure to use foods of various colors and when laying them out to not section ones with the same color in the same area of the platter. Think complementary colors when placing foods next to each other (for example green olives next to red salami).
  • Creating layers- The center can have small bowls with things like olives, dipping sauces and marinated vegetables. Around the center roll your meats, group your cheeses and other ingredients.
  • Creating texture- This is all about playing around with the food and finding ingredients that compliment each other. For example you could wrap the prosciutto around a firm stick of cheese. 

Antipasti ingredients we recommend:

  • Genoa Salami Antica Corte item# 4600023
  • Prosciutto Italian Antica Corte item# 4600161
  • Sopressata Sweet Slicing Citterio item# 295320
Deli Vegetables
  • Artichoke Hearts Quartered Marino item# 5130363
  • Roasted Red Peppers Can Marino item# 5060107, 5060106
  • Olive Kalamata Pitted Pithari item# 1400184
  • Pepperoncini Marino item# 5060100
  • Provolone Sharp Aged Imported item# 0130105
  • Fresh Mozzarella Loaf Country Brand item# 0700952, 0700951
  • Mozzarella Whole Milk Block Country Brand item# 0100036
  • Mozzarella Part-Skim Block Country Brand item# 0100038
  • Goat Cheese Log Pithari item# 0800190
  • Bread Piadina Ciabatta Vola item# 2100164
  • Rustic 3X7 Bread Ciabatta Wenner item# 3700040
  • Pita Bread Pre-Oiled 7’’ Pithari item# 3700126