I have written two articles so far on appetizers focused on making a splash at either a party you host, or one you are attending. It is all about the foods, and how delicious they can be, with little effort. In this article I will focus on a dish you can serve equally well at your own party or take to a party you attend.
Antipasti Skewers - simple to make up to the night before
Antipasti skewers are a design of your own making. It would be best to use longer skewers than your regular party toothpicks. Look for the shorter 5 or 6 inch bamboo skewers used for grilling. These antipasti skewers are being made for adults, so tiny little bits of things just require making that many more to satisfy the crowd.
We are all familiar with the concept of Italian antipasto. It is a combination plate of deli type items all together. This recipe is just making individual skewers of the deli items that will please the crowd. They can be made all identically, or mixed and matched. The idea is to have a nice portion of antipasto all on one skewer that can be picked up and eaten. No utensils needed.
Meats could be thinly sliced ham, turkey, salami, pepperoni, dried beef, anchovies or whatever type you would like. Cheeses can be from all across the board. For the purpose of these skewers, cheeses should be confined to block types that will stay on a pick. The common cheeses like cheddar, Colby, cheddar jack or pepper jack are all fine. If your crowd is more epicurean, go for Feta, Gouda, gruyere, and any other less known cheese you might like. Stay away from any crumbly soft cheeses like Chevre, but other than that, anything goes. Mozzarella pearls are fantastic. Pickles vary from tiny gherkins either sweet or not, to chunk pickles of various kinds. Depending on the kind will depend on how they are placed on the skewer. Pitted olives of any variety are great to use. Cherry tomatoes or chunks of bell pepper add a colorful note. Small broccoli or cauliflower florets can be left raw or very lightly steamed. Jardiniere type pickled vegetables can be used. Roasted red pepper strips would be a perfect. Marinated artichoke hearts are another tasty piece that could be used. Try using cooked tortellini or even ravioli. Basil leaves would be pretty sandwiched between, and add color.
Decide on what ingredients you would like to put together. You can confine yourself to just 4 or 5, or get up to 10 different items and alternate. A sample would be one olive, a fanned half slice of a deli meat, a marinated artichoke piece, a chunk of cheese, a little gherkin, skewered across its center and another olive to hold place. Use as many items as will fit on one of the skewers. Another idea would be a cherry tomato, a basil leaf, a mozzarella pearl, a rolled piece of salami, a tortellini, skewered side to side, a roasted red pepper curl and an olive. This is entirely dependent on your taste, and the taste of the party goers.
The main idea is to have the assortment of antipasto foods available and then put them together. For the deli meats, thin sliced meat can be made into a fan, folded in four or rolled and then skewered. Softer thin sliced cheese such as provolone could be rolled and skewered. Chunk cheeses can be cut in cubes or in little bars. Gherkins can be skewered across their centers. Little anchovies could be rolled into a curl and skewered. Tortellini can be skewered across, going through their two sides. Chunk pickles can be skewered through their sides, rather than the middle.
Make the skewer colorful and enticing. These will be larger serving portions so will require making less of them. Serve with crackers or crusty bread. If plates are being used, it might be nice to have a little seasoned olive oil to sprinkle over the skewers once served. They can be made the night before, but not too much before that, as the meats and cheeses will start to dry and look less appetizing. Keep tightly covered and refrigerated until needed. Above all, be creative and enjoy this little creative effort.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it was informative and helped you along your own culinary journey.
My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking and help pass along my love and joy of food. I would love to hear from you! Join my "e-family" and share recipes, stories and good times in the kitchen. Visit my Web site http://www.aharmonyofflavors.com/ my Blog at http://www.aharmonyofflavors.blogspot.com/ my Marketplace at or join me on Facebook. Let me know, and I will send you a copy of my monthly news letter full of recipes the latest tips.