Presto, Presto, Antipasto!Antipasto is Italian for “before the meal”.  During the holiday season, do you enjoy entertaining at home?  It’s the same at our house.  I always like to serve something special, not out of a jar, but made from scratch that my guests will thoroughly enjoy; it shows a little extra love.  My solution is an assortment of nibbles known as an antipasto plate.

Your Antipasto should have a variety of tastes, textures and colors.  It could be served on a fancy platter or a simple wooden charger.  My favorite foods on an antipasto plate are cheeses, vegetables and smoked/cured meats.  You can grill vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms and quartered artichokes.  I also love to make roasted peppers and cippolini (little onions) in agro dolce (sweet and sour) along with marinated chick pea salad.  I suggest a variety of smoked and cured meats, available at specialty Italian shops like DiBruno Brothers.  Some of my favorites include: Pancetta, Guancialla (pig’s cheeks), Duck Prosciutto and Salami with black peppercorns.  Lastly, an antipasto plate would not be complete without crunchy Italian bread; it’s worth a trip to the bakery.

Would you like to taste some cheese and olives? To sign up for a culinary tour of the Philadelphia Italian Market, please call Chef Jacquie at (610) 506-6120.