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Simple & Elegant Antipasto

Planning for a holiday get-together and don’t know what to serve? An antipasto platter assembled with ready-made ingredients is an easy solution that will surely impress your guests.

In Italy, antipasto is commonly eaten as the first course. The word antipasto refers to a dish that comes before all other courses, and is derived from the Latin word “anti” meaning “before,” and “pastus” meaning “meal.” Similar appetizers are prepared in many Mediterranean countries, including Spain where they are referred to as “tapas” and Greece where they are called “meze.”

A typical antipasto selection includes a variety of cured meats, cheeses, olives, fruits and vegetables. Choose your favorite deli-prepared items and decoratively arrange them on a serving platter.

Suggested items to include on your platter:

• thinly sliced salami, prosciutto, pepperoni or smoked turkey breast
• cubed cheeses such as Gouda, provolone, mozzarella or a wheel of Brie
• water crackers, pita bread or chips, toasted sliced baguette or garlic bread
• marinated artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, bell peppers or mushrooms
• fresh fruits such as cantaloupe, grapes or strawberries
• dried fruits such as figs, apricots or dates
• a variety of olives and capers
• hummus or olive tapenade
• roasted mixed nuts
• canned sardines
• sweet pickles