Antipasto Platters and Cheese Platters — Your Best Friend for Entertaining
Pass the Platter: It’s Time for Antipasto
We love a good get-together with friends or family, but when the guests start appearing and your main course is still cooking, panic can set it. Well, here’s what we say to that awkward waiting time between arrival and eating: Have you met the antipasto platter yet?
Antipasto Platters and Cheese Platters
Call it what you will — an appetiser, a first course, hors d’oeuvres — antipasto and cheese platters are the answer to every host’s prayer. Antipasto simply means “before the meal” and is traditionally made up of cured meats, cheeses, and vegetables artfully arranged on a beautiful tray or platter (or board, as some people like to call them).
These elegant dishes not only look amazing, but they’re also simple to prepare and can even be made in advance so you can spend more time mingling with your guests and less time in the kitchen. However, the real benefits of an antipasto platter lie in the way they bring people together.
Antipasto platters provide an eye-catching and intriguing centrepiece that your guests can congregate around, mingling and conversing with one another while enjoying the bite-sized snacks. And because antipasto and cheese platters offer such a range of flavours, textures, and tastes, you can be sure that everyone will find something to enjoy so no one is left out.
Preparing Your Platter: Cheese and Antipasto Basics
They may look like you spent hours preparing them, but antipasto and cheese platters are quite simple to make. What makes them so special is the variety of textures, colours, and tastes that you get from combining different types of food.
While there is no one “right” antipasto recipe, there are several elements common across the board. We’ve split them into six flavour/texture categories.
- MEATY - The core of a good antipasto platter is quality meat. Choose two to three cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, or even chorizo.
- CHEESY - Mozzarella is an excellent addition to any cheese platter or antipasto platter, but don’t stop there. Pick at least one other cheese for variety — Gouda, manchego, pecorino, and provolone are sure to please.
- BRINY - Add colour and flavour with olives and pickled vegetables. Eggplant, artichokes, cipollini onions, roasted peppers, or tomatoes are a great place to start.
- FRUITY - Fruit pairs well with cheese, so do include some on your platter. You can’t go wrong with the fresh taste of grapes, apples, and figs. Even dried fruits will be scrumptious alongside your cheese and bread.
- CRUNCHY - Serve up slices of crusty ciabatta or crostini alongside your platter for a true crowd-pleaser. For that extra crunch, you can add grissini (Italian breadsticks), or artisanal crackers as well. Nuts such as pistachios or almonds are also great for added texture and flavour.
- CREAMY - Be sure to include small bowls of dips such as hummus, baba ghanoush, and herb-infused olive oil. Spreads such as honey, pesto, jams, jellies, and preserves are also sure to whet the appetite.
Mix and match items from different categories and you’re sure to have a fabulous antipasto platter. But don’t stop there! Tradition may taste divine, but there’s no reason to stifle your creativity. Seafood elements, vegetarian platters, and even a dessert theme are all possibilities. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and come up with something truly unique.
The Platter Matters
When it comes to antipasto platters, taste isn’t the only thing that matters. The right presentation can turn a cheese platter from a simple appetiser into a stunning and stylish first course, so a beautiful platter is a must.
Here at ALMA IDEAS, we’re proud to offer a wide range of beautiful porcelain serving platters in various sizes, shapes, and colours that help show off your creativity and skill. We even provide handmade timber bases that you can use to add height and interest to your food presentation.
Every ALMA platter is crafted from high-quality, sustainable, and hygienic porcelain that is easy to clean, ensuring that your food is safe as well as beautifully presented. Even more importantly, each ALMA platter is made with love, right here in Australia.