It’s another lovely day here in our tiny kitchen and today, I’m sharing another “fancy on a budget” hack. DIY Southern Italian Antipasto is on the menu.
Are you familiar with those extravagant boards of cold cuts and cheese on your Instagram feed? Yes, we are making them.
This platter features the classic ingredients of Southern Italy.
You can prepare southern Italian antipasto in less than 30 minutes and requires no cooking skills!
I have a confession: I adore cheese platters. Attending a function and seeing cheese, meat, bread, and crackers is a pleasing experience for me. Sometimes, you don't need an entire meal (not even the dessert)!
Honestly, I don't think this is a recipe at all. This is a guideline for creating a tasty and attractive antipasto prepared with traditional Southern Italian ingredients.
For a jam you can serve on your platter, I have included a Vanilla Fig Jam recipe.
🥖 What is Antipasto?
A typical Italian appetizer is an antipasto. Much like the French’s "hors-dourves". The plural form, Antipasti, is frequently used interchangeably.
This meal is meant to "tease" your appetite, but not to fill you up. Just looking at these beautiful, elegant boards makes you hungry.
Depending on where you are from in Italy, an antipasto can take many forms and have different kinds. In contrast to your regular appetizers, antipasto is served on a large platter or board.
Then you can choose from cheeses, cold cuts, roasted or pickled fruits, and veggies. It is often served with crackers or some sort of freshly baked Italian bread.
Antipasto is curated according to which Italian region you are inspired to prepare it from. Usually, it is divided into three regions: northern, southern, and central.
The antipasto of northern Italy consists mainly of alpine cheeses like Fontina or Gorgonzola. In terms of meat, the dish contains mortadella and prosciutto di Parma. Originating from northern Italy, both dishes have a similar taste.
An Antipasto from Southern Italy is composed of ingredients that are commonly found there. Three cheeses will be used: burrata, ricotta, and provolone.
As for the cold cut, we'll use salami. It is quite similar to Sopressata, but Sopressata has a more distinctive taste.
Southern Italian antipasto and sandwiches commonly contain it. Our platter was inspired by the traditional pairing of provolone cheese, red peppers, and olives!
Our last stop is the Central Italian Antipasto. The key ingredient is Crostini, which is often confused with bruschetta. In contrast, Crostini has thin slices of thin baguettes.
Baguettes of a wider variety are bruschetta. In both cases, the bread is toasted and accompanied by a pate, jam, or tapenade.
In addition, they often include salami, smoked salmon, caponata, and mozzarella.
🥘 What to Put in an Italian Antipasto
The term 'Salumi' refers to a wide variety of different types of cured, cooked or dried meats.
For an antipasto platter, cut the meat into bite-size pieces or fold or roll slices so they are easy to grasp.
Each of the following meats should be served in two pieces per person.
Prosciutto is an Italian ham that does not require cooking, and is salted, air-dried, and dried over time.
One of the most popular hams of these types, Prosciutto di Parma, comes from the same area in which Parmigiano cheese is made.
Smooth, velvety slices with slightly chewy consistency should evoke suppleness and velvety appearances. Prosciutto should be cut into transparent, paper-thin slices.
Salamis come in dozens of varieties whose texture and flavor reflect the character and traditions of the different regions in Italy.
Besides spices and seasonings, salami is usually made by adding garlic, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, or wine to pork.
Emilia-Romagna is known for its mortadella. In addition to cubes of creamy fat and pistachio pieces, it has a large, smooth-textured texture.
The color and taste of Mortadella are both delicately pink.
Cappocollo or Coppa
Usually, this meat is composed of the top portion of a pig's neck and part of its shoulder. Garlic, wine, and spices are used to cure the meat.
A tender, fatty texture and a delicate flavor distinguish Cappocollo.
Pork and fat are coarsely ground to form Soppressata, a large, wide salami. Red wine, salt, and black peppercorns are the main flavors. The sweet and hot versions of Soppressata are usually available.
🧀 Types of Cheese for Italian Antipasto
An antipasto platter requires only one choice of cheese to accompany the other items. Cheese can be served as a wedge that guests can cut themselves or as slices or bite-sized pieces.
Southern Italy is the birthplace of Provolone, an Italian cheese made from cow's milk. A mild or sharp version of provolone is usually available for purchase.
A smoky-flavored import of provolone makes a nice accompaniment to Salumi.
Make sure you buy fresh mozzarella that is soft, creamy, and mild. On an antipasto platter, mozzarella's delicate texture contrasts nicely with the chewier textures of the meats.
Known in Italian as "Boconcini," these little balls of mozzarella are the perfect size for serving.
🍅 Types of Vegetables for Italian Antipasto
Prepare an antipasto platter with several fresh or marinated vegetable varieties.
- Celery or carrot sticks,
- cucumber slices,
- cherry tomatoes,
- marinated artichokes,
- vinegar peppers,
- roasted red peppers,
✨ Homemade Vanilla Fig Jam for Italian Antipasto
Last, but not least, you'll need a jam to dip your meat, cheese, vegetables and chosen bread into.
Made with chopped walnuts, olives, artichoke hearts, basil and rosemary will finish your Souther Italian Antipasto Platter.
You can buy some wonderful tasting fig jam or we've included an old favorite Homemade Vanilla Fig Jam in our recipe card below. Enjoy!
🍮 Desserts That Go with Italian Antipasto
👩🏻🍳 Frequently Asked Questions
What Do Italians Have for Antipasto?
The most common antipasto dish in Italy is a simple display of cured meats on a plate, referred to as charcuterie in the United States. Typical displays include raw prosciutto di Parma or San Daniele, salame, coppa (capocollo), speck, and mortadella, or other regional, cured meats.
Why is it called Antipasto?
Traditionally, the first course of an Italian meal is "antipasto" (plural: antipasti). "Anti-pastus" is a combination of the words "ante" (before) and "pastus" (meal or pasture). Presentations of antipasto tend to be colorful and include a variety of items, which excite people before dinner.
What is the difference between Antipasto and Antipasti?
They are both correct technically. There is one antipasto, whereas there are many antipasti. ... In colloquial terms, antipasta means "before the pasta," a translation error.
What is the difference between Antipasto and Charcuterie boards?
As a rule of thumb, an antipasto platter and a charcuterie platter are practically identical. They both involve dry, cured meats and garnishes. The main difference is that a Charcuterie board does not normally contain cheese.
- 1 large ball burrata cheese
- 4 oz. Provolone cheese, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 oz. hot sopressata, thinly sliced
- 3 oz. sweet sopressata, thinly sliced
- 4 fresh figs, quartered
- 4 oz. fresh ricotta cheese
Vanilla Fig Jam
- 1 6-oz. jar roasted red peppers, sliced
- 1 4-oz. container marinated and seasoned mixed olives
- 1 8-oz. jar artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 lbs. red seedless grapes, split into 3 or 4 bunches
- Fresh basil and rosemary sprigs, for garnish
1. Begin by placing the burrata in the center of a serving platter and arrange the Provolone cheese, Sopressata, and fresh figs around it.
2. Next fill a small serving bowl with the ricotta cheese and top with the fig jam and walnuts and place near the burrata arrangement.
3. Then transfer the roasted red peppers, seasoned olives, and marinated artichoke hearts to individual serving dishes and position near the other items.
4. Tuck the grapes, fresh herb sprigs, and crusty bread slices (if using) in around the other ingredients to create a nice display and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Optional: Crusty Italian bread, thinly sliced. Substitute
gluten-free bread or crackers, if desired.
Store-bought fig jam may be substituted, if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 336Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 871mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 5gSugar: 19gProtein: 17g