The Italians have it right when it comes to food — the emphasis is on quality products and simply letting them shine. That was inspired me to update an old-school Italian aperitivo (aka happy hour) snack, the classic antipasti platter. There is something so freeing about not having to fuss over an appetizer when you just want to nibble on something delicious, sip on a cocktail, and enjoy la dolce vita.
You can’t get simpler than getting some good quality prosciutto or speck that has tons of meaty flavor and serve it with some seasonal stone fruit like nectarines or peaches. Up the ante by simply filling some pickled pepperdews with tangy goat cheese. Then, last but not least, get some artisanal crackers — like my favorite from La Panzanella — and top them with slices of buttery rich Gorgonzola Blue cheese, add a drizzle of your favorite honey, and serve it like a flatbread. And, if you want to round it out, add your favorite nuts, fruits, and olives you like to the mix. Just like that you have a modern take on the classic antipasti platter that’s far more exciting than a bunch of sliced salami and cheese. So, here’s to bringing back the antipasti platter with style.
halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
For the nectarines: Cut the speck or prosciutto slices in half lengthwise and separate into slices. Loosely ribbon each piece on the platter then top with two thin slices of nectarine.
For the peppadews: Fill each peppadew with a spoonful of goat cheese then arrange on the platter.
For the blue cheese flatbreads: Cut the blue cheese into 1/4- inch thin triangular slices. Place 3 slices onto each cracker, drizzle honey over the top then encourage guests to crack off flatbread bites as they go.
If you'd like, also garnish the platter with other small bites such as Castelvetrano olives, pistachios, and dried figs.
Food styling by Lillian Kang // Photography by Aida Mollenkamp