Learn how to create a colourful, welcoming Nightshade Free Antipasto Platter that will be a hit at your next party!
Is there anything more welcoming than a platter full of your favourite foods?
I don’t think there is.
My family tends to go all out for holidays. And I mean. All. Out. I’m part of a large family, so when we’re actually all together, my mum pulls out all the stops.
I’m talking expensive cheeses, amazing breads, chopped veggies, high quality cold meats… my dad will make a special visit to our only Italian deli and buy them out of all the good stuff. There’s this one block of mascarpone that has layers of sun-dried tomatoes and pesto that is… words cannot describe this stuff. You know it’s going to be a good supper when there are stacks of pink-hued paper wrapped packages in the fridge!
And that’s for before the meal.
This year, Mr. Nomato and I are in charge of Thanksgiving, and it’s going to be hard to live up to that high standard. I mean, if we can’t even present a solid antipasto platter, the rest of the meal could be a bland disaster! And we can’t have that.
So I’ve been doing my homework on antipasto platters. Party platters, Api-platters, whatever you would like to call them!
The perfect antipasto platter needs to be 3 things: 1) delicious (obvs), 2) colourful, and 3) made of finger food. It needs to be a balance of salty/sweet/umami. Everything on the plate should taste good together. How you do that is really up to you, depending on what you love!
These are my suggestions, but you do what makes you happy! If you want a plate entirely covered in cheese, I will not stop you. I’ll probably even ask if I can come to your party! But as far as a nightshade-free platter goes, this is my strategy!
Start with your Cheese
Cheese is the backbone of your antipasto platter. Ideally, there should be at least three (more is no problem!), and they should be different. A creamy cheese like camembert or brie is the perfect counterpoint to a hard, salty cheese with bite, like parmigiano reggiano, or asiago. Your third cheese can be a bit of a wild card. A mid-texture cheese like white cheddar, havarti, mozzarella (small bocconcini is perfect for eating with your hands!), or if you’re adventurous, you can charge headfirst into the bold cheeses, like gorgonzola or blue cheese.
Then add your dips!
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar is a classic dip for an antipasto platter. I’m adding a bowl of my Roasted Beet and Feta Hummus from the other week, as hummus is great for dippin’! You can really have any dip that takes your fancy. Yogurt-based dips or dressings, like this Chive and Dill one are delicious too. Just make sure that you have a dip that will go with most things on your platter.
Now your bread!
This one is not so much necessary if you’re eating gluten-free or light on the carbs, but at my house, it is TOTALLY necessary. I love to add a crusty bread or French bread that you can spread cheese on. Hard crackers are great with most cheeses as well. I mean, I don’t need a vehicle for my cheese, but that contrast of flavours can really add pop to your platter!
Veggies and meats!
Now you can really go all out. Seriously. Just throw all your favourite things on this baby. I could say something about how you should have a balance of sweet and salty, mild and sharp, but if people don’t eat it, they won’t eat it, so put what you like!
This is one of the best places to really add variety, colour and interest. Have fun! I adore bright colours and contrast, so putting in a fun twist like using yellow, orange and purple carrots instead of just orange ones is something that really makes me smile. You want your antipasto platter to be welcoming and joyful.
On my nightshade free platter, I added all of our favourites:
- Sticks of multi-coloured carrots
- Cucumber slices
- Green Grapes
- Twisted Gruyere sticks
- Prosciutto (the Maple Leaf brand has 2 ingredients – pork and salt!)
Don’t be overwhelmed by presentation. This is actually easier than it sounds or looks. If you want a beautiful platter, balance is your friend. Arrange things in circles, and half circles around your most important elements (in this case the cheese!). Up on the top right I had a lot of green, so I added some green grapes and a celery leaf on the bottom left. The pink of the hummus on the right is balanced by the radishes on the left. The bright brown of the crackers is balanced by the gruyere sticks. Use small things and any clean green vegetable scraps (celery leaves, carrot leaves, parsley, etc. even some edible flowers will do the trick) to fill any ‘holes’.
Use what’s in season for maximum flavour! Radishes, beets and carrots are in season here, so they are packed with deliciousness. I also recommend searching for local cheese, cured meats, and locally baked bread. Those are the extra touches that will make your antipasto platter really unique.
If you don’t know where to start, pick one thing. Just one. And build from that. What would taste delicious with that thing? What would taste delicious with THAT thing? One step at a time.
Nightshade-free people don’t forget to check your labels! Especially on cheeses and cured meats!
And there you have it!
A antipasto platter that is welcoming, delicious, and will make you smile!
My friend Jenna of A Savory Feast recently welcomed a baby boy into her family, so today a few blog friends and I are throwing her a virtual baby shower! If only we lived closer so we could all get together, but since we cannot, but here are some ideas for a smashing baby shower menu. We included a few of Jenna’s own recipes (without her knowing!) so be sure to give her posts some love!
Greek Panzanella by Winstead Wandering
Nightshade Free Antipasto Platter by I Say Nomato
Peach Streusel Coffee Cake by A Savory Feast
Cucumber Finger Sandwiches by The Speckled Palate
French Palmiers by Lavender & Macarons
Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Crostinis by A Savory Feast
Mini Summer Layered Trifle by Lauren’s Kitchen the Blog
Honey Sriracha Meatballs by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
Panko, Cream Cheese and Herb Stuffed Mushrooms by A Savory Feast
Lemon Blueberry Whoopie Pies by Beer Girl Cooks
Sparkling Balsamic Mocktails with Berry Ice Cubes by Feast + West
Honey Sweetened Limeaid with Blueberries by A Savory Feast
Pin this Antipasto Platter for later!