A photo of a antipasto salad with cured meats, cheese, artichoke hearts, olives, and tomatoes
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How to Make an Antipasto Platter

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There’s something a little special about a dinner salad, an antipasto salad lives up to the hype.  It’s almost like a charcuterie on a bed of greens.  This salad has it all – meat, veggies, and cheese!  All on one beautiful plate.  Today, I’m going to show you how to make an antipasto platter without any fuss.  An impressive salad or first course that your family and guests will love!

What does and antipasto salad consist of?

An antipasto salad consists of different cured meats, cheese, and vegetables such as:

  • roasted red peppers
  • artichokes
  • fresh mozzarella
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • variety of olives

Basically, you pair the cured meat and cheese selections with the fresh vegetables and arrange them on top of the bed of lettuce or arugula.  I tend to enjoy the lettuce more, and the flavors that are traditionally brought together in an antipasto are strong on their own, and a stronger green is not needed. It’s almost like a charcuterie on lettuce – but not quite.

What is the difference between antipasto and antipasta?

They both refer to the same salad, however antipasto is the plural form of the word.  Traditionally, and antipasto salad is consumed prior to the pasta course during an Italian meal.

How to make an antipasto platter:

When I make an antipasto salad or platter I have a system that I use to make sure the platter is beautiful when it’s place on the table.  

  1. Start with the lettuce.  Place either torn or wedged lettuce on the bottom of your platter.
  2. In sections, add your cured meats, cheese, and pickled or marinated veggies.  When I make an antipasto I lay it out in triangles – so the lettuce on the bottom and the different elements in triangle shapes – kind of like a pizza pie! You can cut up your ingredients, or roll them like I do.  I enjoy it either way!
  3. Top with your favorite Italian dressing!

What is served with an antipasto salad?

Typically an antipasto is served prior to or alongside an Italian dish, however; it can also be served alone as a dinner salad.  Below are some suggestions for what to serve with an antipasto platter:

Make ahead antipasto platter:

Antipasto shouldn’t be made too far in advance.  You can, however; put it together about an hour prior to dinner or when guests will arrive.  Arranging it sooner may cause the lettuce to wilt or get soggy, which isn’t something you want.  

Antipasto recipe:

  • 1/4 pound each of prosciutto, genoa salami, soppressata, and a regular non-sweetened ham
  • 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella
  • 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes (preferably in different colors)
  • handful of fresh basil
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup olives
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers

Inexpensive antipasto add-ons:

  • Artichokes
  • Stuffed mini peppers (found in the condiment/olive section of your local grocery store)
  • Marinated mozzarella balls
  • Kalamata olives
  • Marinated mushrooms
  • Marinated red peppers
  • Cubed, toasted focaccia bread
  • Anchovies

Get creative with your antipasto! It’s a beautiful dish to share family style, and the perfect course to serve before or with your main meal!

Picture of antipasto salad

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