The holidays are certainly a time of joy, but can be a time of stress as well. This is the first time in 5 years that I have not gotten an eye-twitch from having WAY too much to do.
Having an entertaining-game-plan can reduce the stress at least by half. With so many “extra’s” during the holidays, from purchasing gifts, frequenting holiday parties, and hosting family gatherings, having on-hand appetizers makes life much easier.
One of my favorite ways to create color, beauty, and scrumptious appetizers all at the same time is to create antipasto boards.
They are elegant, but approachable, ensuring the event will be enjoyed. With the variety of delicacies, there will be something for everyone.
Antipasto simply means “before the meal.” Typically a traditional antipasto will include cured meats, vegetables such as mushrooms and artichoke hearts in cured vinegar, as well as cheeses and olives.
Since I live in Alabama, I add my own pickled vegetables such as pickled okra and peppers to the mix.
I’m a believer in making things easy as well as growing and buying local. I Grow red peppers, persimmons, peaches, oranges, okra, and black-eyed peas and add them to the board making this a Southern American Antipasto!
By serving the cured meats, cheeses, and olives with your own or local pepper jelly or loquat jelly, you add that “special” factor and your own spin to a very traditional appetizer.
During the Christmas Holidays, I like using the red pepper jelly in that it adds a little “Christmas” touch. This red pepper jelly recipe does double-duty if you use it both for entertaining and as gifts for your guests!
If you are having a smaller gathering and don’t need an entire antipasto spread, you can make a simply scrumptious appetizer by spreading a few heaping tablespoons of red pepper jelly over a block of cream cheese.
Serve this creamy, spicy, and sweet deliciousness over a rustic cracker! It’s not only gorgeous, but addictive. For the recipe, check my friend Donya’s blog (A Southern Soul) post HERE.
The recipe I am sharing with you is only a guideline. If you see something at the market that delights you and is beautiful, by all means serve it. There are no rules.
Stacy Lyn’s Antipasto Recipe Guide
Feeds 15 – 20
1 pound small mozzarella balls
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, extra for garnishing the boards
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound brie cheese
1 pound Pecorino cheese, sliced
1 1/2 pounds of cured meat, prosciutto, salami, soppressata (3 ounces per person)
2 cups artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 cup pickled or roasted peppers, drained
2 cups mixed olives
1/2 cup stuffed olives
Assortment of Rustic Crackers or Baguettes
In a medium bowl, comine mozzarella balls, parsley, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Arrange the meats, cheeses, artichokes, and roasted peppers on the boards or on top of radicchio leaves placed on the boards. Place the mozzarella in small bowls and arrange within the meats on the boards.
For more great recipes, check out Meal Plan Monday.
Find this jelly recipe in my latest cookbook, Harvest.
Stacy Lyn’s Antipasto Recipe
- 1 pound small mozzarella balls
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley plus extra for garnishing the boards
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pound brie cheese
- 1 pound Pecorino cheese, sliced
- 1 1/2 pounds of cured meat, prosciutto, salami, soppressata (3 ounces per person)
- 2 cups artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- 1 cup pickled or roasted peppers, drained
- 2 cups mixed olives
- 1/2 cup stuffed olives
- Radicchio leaves
- Assortment of Rustic Crackers or Baguettes
- In a medium bowl, combine mozzarella balls, parsley, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Arrange the meats, cheeses, artichokes, and roasted peppers on the boards or on top of radicchio leaves placed on the boards. Place the mozzarella in small bowls and arrange within the meats on the boards.