Antipasto, which means "before the meal," is the appetizer course of traditional Italian meals. According to Whole Foods Market, antipasto typically consists of a variety of small morsels of different foods, such as cheeses, breads and meats. Serve antipasto alongside a delicious bottle of red wine as a preface to your next Italian-inspired meal.
If you're a meat lover, make small portions of Italian deli meats the star of your antipasto dishes. Serve small sections of pepperoni alongside thinly-sliced pieces of salami and prosciutto. You can also add meats with lighter flavours to your antipasto dishes; roll-up slices of deli ham, turkey and chicken. Meat pairs well with a wide variety of other antipasto options, such as cheese, olives, crackers and vegetables.
Wow your guests with a seafood antipasto platter. The Whole Foods Market suggests pairing small portions of smoked salmon, cooked tuna, anchovies and sardines with crackers. Cream cheese, crackers and capers make tasty additions to seafood antipasto plates.
Adorn your antipasto platters with a combination of traditional and more unique cheeses. Fresh mozzarella, feta and provolone cheeses are Italian staples that are both easy to find and sure to please children and adults alike. Search your local grocery store for more interesting cheeses; look for ones that have added spices, or are made with wine.
Breads and Dips
Bread has a place on any antipasto plate. Serve small slices of fresh, crusty Italian bread with meats and cheeses. Bread also pairs well with a variety of dips, sauces and oils. Go back to basics with a dish of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or add small dishes of flavoured hummus, guacamole or yoghurt dip.
A wide variety of fresh and cooked vegetables make great additions to antipasto platters. For a less traditional, and healthier, take, serve sticks of cucumber, carrots and celery with a low-fat dip. Olives, artichoke hearts and roasted peppers can be found in jars at the grocery store, while you can also roast vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, beets, onions and asparagus in the oven.