Building the Perfect Antipasto Platter
We adore antipasto platters because they allow you to be infinitely creative without spending all day in the kitchen. Plus, with a big crowd, you can set up a few platters at the table and at the bar, maybe one on the coffee table, even, to create more intimate settings for conversation. While it’s hard to go wrong with any wine paring when it come to cheese and charcuterie, we recommend serving a crisp, fruit-forward Chardonnay like the K-J AVANT Chardonnay to perfectly compliment the following:
- The perfect antipasto platter involves a balance of sweet, salty, piquant, and mild flavors. By serving fruits, veggies, and Marcona almonds provide a bit of respite from the bold flavors of cheese and charcuterie. I like serving grapes, both red and green, apple slices, nuts, sliced raw Belgian endive, and fig jam across several platters.
- Choose a minimum of two meats to serve (if you have a vegetarian crowd, as a courtesy its generous to make at least one meatless platter). Here I've chosen some prosciutto and sopresatta, although fennel salami, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit also make great options. Olives are a must! Serve in a small bowl to prevent the brine from tainting the flavors of everything else on the plate. Your favorite crackers, a loaf of fresh bread sliced into thin toasts are a must. Cantaloupe makes a great neighbor to the prosciutto.
- It's nearly impossible to go wrong with your cheese selection. Try and include a variety of textures and flavors. Think: something aged (cheddar, comte, goat gouda), soft (camambert, goat cheese, brie), firm (manchego, parmigiano-reggiano) or blue (gorgonzola dolce, stilton). Definitely serve something familiar! I like to serve a bit of aged swiss and honey goat cheese to placate the less adventurous of your guests.
- Depending on how many you'll be serving, plan on serving, consider the following ratio of product to head count: 3 pounds for 8 people, 6 pounds for 16, or 9 pounds for 24. Cheese should account for 4-5 ounces per person.
- Let cheese come to room temperature for about an hour before serving and arranging on the platters. There is no rhyme or reason to assembly, just that you create enough diversity on each platter as to not create a traffic jam around specific trays and areas of the house.