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This recipe for a Mixed Antipasto Platter is not only delicious, it’s absolutely a show stopper, in terms of appearance. Your guests will be eager to dig in and decide which of the delicacies they like best.
The Big Night
The title I originally gave this post, The Big Night, is a reference to a movie I enjoyed many years ago about two brothers who own an Italian restaurant in the 1950’s, that is, sadly, about to go out of business. In order to keep from having to close the restaurant, they decide that a little publicity is in order. They invite the famous jazz musician, Louis Prima, to their restaurant to play, and to partake of their food, and hope thus to attract a crowd. Much of the movie shows the preparations that the brothers go through in order to be ready for The Big Night.
One of the brothers is an amazing chef, and one of the reasons I love this movie so much is the beautiful photography of food. I’m pretty sure this is one of the first pieces of cinematography where the food was the star. The chef slices and dices and chops and stirs, and I remember saliva pooling in my mouth, and longing welling up in my heart as I watched. (One caveat: I also seem to remember an adult moment or two in the film, so it’s not necessarily a family-friendly film. Still, I’ll say, it’s a movie I just adored for the aforementioned reasons.)
Due to the RAVE reviews I received from my guests, when I prepared this platter, I can heartily recommend this recipe. So, if you’re planning your own “Big Night”.
Recipe for a Mixed Antipasto
I found this recipe on the Epicurious website (epicurious.com). It was originally published in Gourmet magazine in 1991. The only change I made to the recipe was to double the amount of marinade, and marinate each platter item separately, in individual ziplock bags. That way, you can arrange a “composed” look to your antipasto platter.
- FOR THE MARINADE:
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 c. red-wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons dried orégano, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
- FOR THE ANTIPASTO PLATTER:
- 3 large carrots, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 small fennel bulb, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 2 red bell peppers, roasted and cut into strips
- 2 yellow bell peppers, roasted and cut into strips
- 12-ounce jar pepperoncini (pickled Tuscan peppers), rinsed and drained well
- 3/4 pound black or green brine-cured olives or a combination
- 1/4 pound sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and cut into strips
- 3/4 pound marinated or plain bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls, available at specialty foods shops and some supermarkets)
- 1/2 pound pepperoni or sopressata (hard Italian sausage, available at Italian markets, some butcher shops, and, some specialty foods shops), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and the slices quartered
- FOR THE GARNISH:
- Fresh parsley, or basil, or rosemary for garnish
- MAKE THE MARINADE: In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, the vinegars, the rosemary, the basil, the oregano, the red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the marinade until it is emulsified.
- TO PREPARE THE VEGETABLES: In a large saucepan of boiling water blanch the carrots and the fennel for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are crisp-tender, drain them, and plunge them into a bowl of ice and cold water. Let the vegetables cool and drain them well.
- Place each ingredient in a separate Ziplock bag, and pour some of the marinade into each bag. Zip them closed so that they are airtight, folding out as much of the air as possible, for neat storage in your refrigerator. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Transfer the antipasto to a platter, garnish it with the chopped parsley or chopped fresh basil, or a little chopped fresh rosemary, and serve it at room temperature.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 461Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 1212mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 13g