Antipasto Platters

I make a mean antipasto platter.

I'm not sure that's really an accomplishment since there is little that you are actually cooking, but they are always a hit at cocktail parties.  It's kind of the perfect answer to what serve at a party in the summer.  You turn on your oven for .5 seconds and then you just assemble.

Granted this is another one of my non-recipe recipes, but sometimes the simpler the better. And what better for a cocktail party than savory food that you do not have to keep warm and can be assembled ahead of time? Perfection.

This is my personal version of an antipasto platter.  Traditionally, they are made with a variety of meats and cheeses, but I like to spice it up a bit.  I thought I'd share my favorites, but let's get real, the possibilities are endless.

So let's get started...

I always include marinated tomatoes.  Click here for recipe. They have such great flavor and very addicting.  You just need to think about these the night before so they can marinate, but that's about all the prep work there.  Moving on...

These prosciutto wrapped asparagus are what make this platter feel fancy.   Check below for recipe...

My favorite cheese to serve is this marinated mozzarella.  This big tub comes from Costco and is super cheap for the quantity.  I prefer this to just plain fresh mozzarella balls because these have a lot more flavor.

You need some crackers to balance all this.  My two favorites are Carr's table water crackers and these Italian breadsticks that can be found at most specialty grocery stores.  They also add nice height.
And then I like to pile on olives.  But I'm an olive person.  If you are not, let's talk about some other ideas.

Thin slices of prosciutto, cuts of salami, artichoke hearts, sliced hearts of palm, piles of nuts, dried apricots... again more of my favorites, but they all work pretty well.

Hopefully you have something to work with here.  Now go ahead and invite your friends over.

From my little kitchen to yours... Enjoy.
Proscuitto Wrapped Asparagus
Recipe Notes
The key to this is having extremely thin proscuitto.  If it is thick, it will be hard to bite through.  Costco sells a great prepackaged very thinly sliced prosciutto at a great price.  Or ask your butcher to cut it paper thin. Be careful to not overcook the asparagus.  You want it slightly cooked, but still crunchy... not mushy.  Asparagus size can vary dramatically so if you have very thin spears, keep your eye on them.
Asparagus (2 to 4 per person)
Prosciutto, about 1/2 a slice per piece of asparagus, sliced paper thin.
olive oil
kosher or sea salt
freshly ground pepper
Step by Step
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Trim the white, woody ends of Spread the asparagus in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast asparagus for about 5 minutes (see recipe note for timing).  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Cut each piece of prosciutto in half, so you have two strips.  Wrap each piece of asparagus with a half piece of prosciutto.  Repeat until all asparagus have been wrapped.  Can be made up to 6 hours in advance and kept refrigerated.  Serve at room temperature.