Friday, June 5, 2015

The Antipasto Dinner You'll Want to Eat All Summer!

When it comes to dining al fresco in the summer months, I just can't get enough! Eating outside forces you to keep it simple and not spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Sometimes the best meals are those served on just one big platter that everyone can pick from - like this amazing antipasto plate made by my mother-in-law!

We recently visited her in Arizona, where she has this little patio that is to die for. The first thing I want to do when I visit to her house is sit outside there with a glass of wine (and let the kids play with grandma - ha ha!).

My mother-in-law had already purchased all the goodies for an Italian antipasto platter, so I asked if we could have dinner outside and shoot some photos for my blog. She was game! 

While she was busy preparing the platter, I got to work doing what I love best - table styling! I kept the decor simple, just like the food. I cut a palm frond from one of her plants and stuck it in a pretty glass hurricane:

We used single leaves from the frond to tie around the napkins for a simple napkin ring:

Now for the star of the show - the antipasto! Pair this with a glass of wine, and you have my favorite summer dinner. No cooking involved! Here's how to make your own - I hope you try this at least once this summer:

How to Make An Antipasto Platter

1) Find a nice big platter in your cupboard - the more people you have to serve, the bigger the platter!

2) Add a couple of each of these categories:

  • Cheese - fresh mozzarella, parmesan,  burrata, or fontina are all great choices
  • Meats - thinly sliced prosciutto, salami, or pepperoni
  • Olives - a mix of different types works great
  • Marinated / Roasted Vegetables - artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes
To make it extra special add in a couple of these:
  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetables - cherry tomatoes, pears, grapes, melon, etc. 
  • Nuts - almonds, pistachios, walnuts

3) Make the plate look especially pretty by folding the slices of meat, skewering mozzarella and tomatoes, and sprinkling in some fresh basil!

4) Have a good olive oil and salt and pepper on hand for seasoning.  

5) Pair with a crusty loaf of bread and a crisp white wine!


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