To make an easy antipasto, arrange sliced Italian-style meats and cheeses, vegetables and olives on a platter and dress with herbs and spices, olive oil or garlic vinaigrette. Insert toothpicks to make food easier to handle, or set out serving pieces.
An antipasto is really just a salad, and rather than being difficult to make, assembling one can be time-consuming, depending on presentation and size.
To make a medium-sized antipasto, buy 1 pound of each meat you plan to serve – salami, pepperoni, cappicola, roast beef – making sure the meat is thinly sliced. Roll each slice, and secure with toothpicks, if desired.
Drizzle a large platter with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper. Then, arrange the rolled meats around the edge of the platter so that they’re evenly distributed. Slice and arrange cheeses, such as fresh mozzarella, parmesan and romano and mild feta, in the next round on the platter. Follow the cheeses with olives and pickled artichoke hearts. Last, layer crudete – fresh bell peppers, scallions, red onions, cherry or plum tomatoes, sliced fresh garlic – in the center.
Dress the whole platter lightly with plain olive oil or vinaigrette (lemon and red wine) and pepper, minced fresh basil, dried oregano and grated cheese. Serve the antipasto on bread, in bowls or on salad plates.