Antipasto translates âbefore a mealâ and these entrees are a hearty favorite in Italy. Antipasti is the plural and the tantalizing flavors of these starters can delight just about anybodyâs taste buds. Antipasti are made using four basic ingredients- meat, vegetables, olives and cheese. Traditionally, three to four rounds of appetizers are served before a meal. The flavor and texture of the side dishes are balanced using different types of ingredients that can be dense, airy, raw, delicately flavored and well cooked. The repast is relished with mildly chilled wines and is known to give a boost to your appetite. Five delectable antipasti that you will just love to chomp down are given below.
1. Tomato Bruschetta
Traditionally prepared in the brustolina grill, this crusty roasted bread can be topped with sumptuous meats and vegetables. However, a few ingredients like olive oil, garlic, cheese and basil are always used in the garnishing. The simplest variation is the tomato bruschetta that is topped with coarsely chopped tomatoes, both fresh as well as sun dried. A dressing of olive oil and mozzarella on the top is a must do.
Italian cured meats slivered into waif thin wedges are used often as starters. Bite sized helpings of this cured meat can be doled out in many ways. Some common ways to dish it out is by rolling some cheese inside a slice or wrapping it around a piece of melon. To make this Italian ham, meat is first cured with salt and then air dried.
3. Bagna Cauda
Although eaten just like a fondue, this preparation is not as well-known as its popular cheesy counterpart. The dish has a rich taste thanks to the olive oil, butter, anchovies and garlic added to it. The hot meld is savored with raw, boil or roasted veggies during the chilly winter months.
Beef fried in olive oil, the Italian way, always stays succulent. The specialty of this particular dish is that the meat is first sliced into wafer thin slivers and then cheese and bread crumbs are rolled into it. The ingredients inside the rolls are held together with using a string or toothpick. After frying, the rolls are dunked into a sauce.
5. Caprese Salad
This grub is made using all the popular ingredients in Italian cooking. Just slice some juicy tomatoes and dress them with a blend of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil and ground black pepper. Sprinkle some mozzarella on the top and the dish is ready.
The sheer variety of Italian appetizers that includes both cold cuts and warm foods will make you drool. Olive oil, herbs and cheese are used in every other dish. Cured meats, olives and tomatoes give the starters a full bodied flavor, while fresh vegetables add in a delicate savory kick. An Italian antipasti platter usually contains a huge assortment of treats like cured meats, olives, fresh veggies, aged cheese, preserved vegetables, breads, crackers and nuts. There are so many who have been taken by this appetizing Italian spread.