Last week I invited my husband's coworkers over for a little dinner party and decided to go with an Italian theme. I knew right away what my main course and dessert would be but I had a hard time deciding on an appetizer. I needed it to be large enough to feed 8 people but quick and easy since I knew I would be busy focusing on the main dish (my friend Mary's decadent Fettuccini Alfredo, which I will post next). I wound up finding this post on Tasty Kitchen. The title is "Anatomy of an Antipasti Platter, or How to Set the Bar Impossibly Low." While I wasn't purposely intending to "set the bar low" (after all a girl with a cooking blog does have expectations to live up to!) I was looking for a fun, easy, and delicious Italian appetizer and I found it. It doesn't get much easier than this, but people just dive into it! How could they not with so many yummy marinated, cheesy goodness laid out so beautifully? The great thing about buying so many different ingredients is that people can pick and choose, layer, and stack, grab and gobble, and you will have enough to replenish the platter once with some bits and pieces left over.
**This technically isn't a "recipe" but is more of preparation instructions!
1/2 pound thinly sliced proscuitto
1 pound marinated olives (mix it up with Kalamatas, Green Olives, Stuffed Olives, whatever you like!)
1/2 pound thinly sliced salami
1/2 pound cubed Provolone
1 jar marinated Artichoke Hearts, cut into quarters
1 jar Pepperoncini Peppers
1 tub fresh Mozzarella Balls (I couldn't find "balls" so used slices instead)
1 jar roasted red peppers, thinly sliced
You could also use pickles, small cubes of cantaloupe, roasted garlic cloves, sundried tomatoes...basically you have license to go crazy with this one!
Arrange on a large platter with the ingredients in rows. Serve with fresh bread and olive oil and let people go to town!