A basic Antipasto tray can include any or all of the following: Olives, marinated artichokes, radishes, pickles, pickled onions, salami or pepperoni, cherry tomatoes, and toothpicks for serving. You might also include Giardiniera, which is ItalIan mix of pickled vegetables. The Italian version includes onions, celery, zucchini, carrots and cauliflower. The pickled vegetables are in red- or white-wine vinegar. American Giardiniera is often made with serrano peppers along with bell peppers, olives, celery, pimentos, carrots, and cauliflower, and sometimes crushed red pepper flakes. This version is marinated in vegetable oil, olive oil, soybean oil or any combination of the three, or vinegar. You can get this bottled in the grocery store; look in the Italian or gourmet aisle.
APPETIZERS FROM SUNSET MAGAZINE:
SAUSAGES – buy 2 lbs. ready-to-heat cooked sausages; use mini ones or cut into 1” chunks. Heat in a frying pan, the oven, or a microwave; serve with 2-3 kinds of fancy mustard and serve with miniature pocket bread.
VEGETABLES, CRACKERS AND CHIPS WITH DIPS – don’t forget about hummus, tapenade, and guacamole when you’re choosing the dips. There are all kinds of OLIVES available in stores now – Try kalamata, manzanillo, and nicoise.
GINGERED SHRIMP WITH BELGIAN ENDIVE – mix 1 lb. rinsed and drained shelled cooked tiny shrimp with ¾ t. wasabi paste or prepared horseradish, ¼ cup chopped pickled ginger, and ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 T chopped green onion. Place bowl on a tray. Rinse 1 lb. Belgian endive, trim off root ends, and separate leaves; arrange on a tray and sprinkle with coarse-ground pepper. Spoon the shrimp onto leaves to eat.
BAKED BRIE WITH GREEN SALSA – Place a whole brie cheese in a shallow ovenproof casserole or pan 2 inches wider than the cheese. Spoon prepared green salsa about ½ inch deep around the cheese; use a stencil to dust the cheese with ground chili powder in a pretty shape. Bake in a 400” oven until melted in center, 8-10 minutes or heat in a microwave for 4-6 minutes. Keep hot on an electric warming tray or over a candle warmer, and serve with tortilla chips.
SMOKED SALMON WITH DILL
Arrange ¾ lb. sliced smoked salmon on a platter. Mix 2 T each fresh dill and chopped green onion, 2 T lemon juice, and 1 t. sugar. Spoon over salmon. Serve with 1 cup sour cream and 1 lb. thin-sliced black bread.