How to Make the Perfect Antipasto Platter

Antipasto means before the meal and is the traditional first course of a formal Italian dinner. It may include a variety of vegetables, meats, and cheeses. It also is considered an easy dish to prepare when having unexpected company shows up.It is something that is relatively easy to put together, but using the right ingredients is one think you will learn if you go to cooking school.

Imagine, if you will, a bit of food imagery - people leaning across the table, elbows out, and grabbing at tasty tidbits of food and wine. The gesture is the international symbol for conviviality, for a noisy, laughing group of family or friends gathered around a table, nudging one another out of the way to reach over and taste something new and wonderful. These dishes are usually accompanied by wine and are meant to stimulate the appetite before digging into the main meal. There are many ways to fix an antipasto platter, using a variety of meats and cheeses and vegetables on hand. The following is a recipe that is sure to please anyone and is a staple of cooking school in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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Preparation time for this recipe is approximately 30 minutes, and makes about 24 servings. You will need 12 slices of prosciutto, a salted, cured thinly sliced Italian ham, or a thinly sliced cooked ham (about 6 ounces), cut in half.You will also need 12 slices of provolone cheese (about ¾ of a pound), and 12 slices of mozzarella cheese (about ¾ pound) also cut in half. To this, add 24 slices Genoa salami (about ¾ of a pound). Genoa salami is a cured and dried sausage stuffed in a casing. It is flavorful and a good addition to this platter.

 Round out the platter with the following:  24 marinated mushrooms, 24 marinated artichoke hearts and 24 Kalamata olives, pitted.Kalamata olives are also known as Greek olives. They are distinct as the olives are a deep purple on the tree. These are not used for making olive oil, but are split, and packed in a vinaigrette to bring out the rich flavor. The vinaigrette causes the olives to turn brown or black. All of the above items can be found in larger grocery stores. Arrange all of these items on a large serving tray.

Now, mix the following ingredients together: ½ cup vegetable or olive oil, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, and one tbsp fresh or ½ tsp dried oregano leaves. Mix well, and drizzle over the meats, cheeses and vegetables. Cover and refrigerate the platter until time to serve.

The last item needed for this antipasto platter is either 12 slices of hard crusted round Italian bread, cut in half, or 24 slices French bread, ½ inch thick. Place these on a separate tray to serve with the meats and cheeses and vegetables.

When serving this antipasto platter, a Pinot Grigio (dry) wine will work well; or, if preferred, a Sangiovese or a Chianti will work just as well. Enjoy this dish with family and friends, the way the Italians enjoy it. Salute`!!! (Be sure to save room for any dessert!) You may be surprised to learn that cooking school is a good fit for you. If you enjoy making recipes like these, you may want to check out cooking school in Scottsdale!

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale. Le Cordon Bleu College of
Culinary Arts in Scottsdale offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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