So we’ve all been to functions where the hosts have served anti pasto that is kind of a little scary to go near .. generally, these feature 875 toothpicks stabbed into helpless but possibly delicious treats that simple defy you to eat what’s underneath said stabby bits of wood.. the food may be great but it’s all a bit much.
I think the key to a good anti pasto platter is SIMPLICITY .. don’t have too many things on the platter.. pick a few gorgeous items and go from there. As per most of my rants, the key is quality ingredients ..
So we have gorgeous bread or lovely crackers (bread is best tho, if all else fails do both) served with a few simple but delicious treats! Such as..
The whole baked cheese thing is indeed a treat .. cut the rind off the top of a camembert, drizzle with some good quality olive oil.. stuff a few cloves of garlic in the top of the cheese.. toss some herbs on top and bake for 10-12 mins .. Done!
Of course one thing you must not skimp on is olive oil. My all time fave is from Hawke’s Bay, it’s available almost everywhere now so if you can – go get some barnea, grassy, peppery, but so good – it’s the perfect finishing touch to your platter.
Arrange all these things on a beautiful serving platter (a wooden tray looks amazing! But so does a simple white chopping board if you don’t have anything more fancy) with a few knives ready for people to dig into the goodies with.
And sit back while everyone goes “wow” at you!
PS with the olives .. drain (if in brine) toss in some good quality olive oil and warm gently in the microwave (2 mins on low, tops!) – add a few grates of orange peel (use a potato peeler! Or use your box grater if you don’t have a microplane) and voila – instant fancy olives. No one need know there were the cheapest in the shop!
PPS sorry this post layout is a shambles, my pictures are all on drugs! Sheesh..