In Italy, the antipasti course (antipasto meaning "before the meal") is traditionally served to whet the appetite and excite the taste buds at the beginning of a meal. Bountiful plates of salumi, cheese, marinated vegetables and crostini of all types scattered around the table for everyone to enjoy while waiting for dinner to begin.
With summer entertaining season in full swing, make these bites and nibbles the star of the show and throw an antipasti party! If you have the essentials on hand, you can go from pantry to party in no time.
Step 1: Stock up on Italian antipasti must-haves like jars of artichoke hearts in olive oil and sundried tomatoes, anchovies, grilled branzino and a good bottle of Italian EVOO (or two).
Step 2: Round out your spread with some Italian cheeses, cured meats, olives and bread. Need some antipasti inspiration? Keep reading for 5 easy bites to serve (see below).
Step 3: Invite some friends over, pop open a few bottles of Prosecco or whip up some Aperol Spritzes, kick back and enjoy an evening in Italy!
1. The 3-ingredient superstar: Spread crostini with a generous layer of unsalted butter (room temperature) and top with IASA anchovy fillets.
2. A simple tomato salad: Arrange thick slices of heirloom tomatoes on a platter and finish with a generous pour of extra virgin olive oil, torn basil leaves and flaky sea salt.
3. Deviled eggs, Italian-style (pictured): Adorn hard-boiled egg halves with a de-boned spicy anchovy fillet and garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
5. Sweet 'n' spicy melon & prosciutto: Dress balls or cubes of cantaloupe or honeydew melon with a simple vinaigrette of extra virgin olive oil, Pojer e Sandri White Wine Vinegar and a pinch of Controne Pepper. To serve, arrange on a platter and nestle thin slices of prosciutto amongst the marinated melon.