Everyone loves a good antipasto spread; the meats, cheeses, olives and vegetables are an Italian appetizer staple, or antipasti, as we call it. And, since most of the ingredients to make antipasto are naturally gluten free, it’s an easy and delicious way to satisfy all of your guests this holiday season. Traditionally, Italians serve antipasti as a seated first course. My mother-in-law used to make the antipasto dishes ahead of time so that when everyone sat down to the table on Christmas day, the appetizer dishes were already plated and ready to eat! While serving antipasti in a formal way is quite lovely, I do love the idea of serving it on bamboo skewers for a cocktail party or more casual grab-and-go setting.
Make them colorful and vibrant for your guests to enjoy by adding a variety of fresh ingredients to your skewers. A little sweet, a tad salty and a whole lot of flavor! I also really love that you can assemble these with virtually all store-bought ingredients, which makes life so much easier when you are rushing around during the holiday season. If you choose to, you can make a homemade dressing to drizzle on top of the skewers. My delicious Honey Balsamic dressing would be the perfect complement!
Here’s what I used to assemble these festive Antipasto Skewers, in the order in which I threaded them. I used medium-sized skewers (if they’re too long, it won’t be easy to eat, and the small ones won’t fit much at all).
- Marinated mozzarella ball (you can find these already prepared in the cheese section of most stores)
- Grape tomato (feel free to buy what looks good, so if the yellow tomatoes look riper, use those or a combination of both red and yellow!)
- Fresh basil leaf
- Sopressata or salami (again, you can find this already sliced, packaged and ready to go; I fold it a bit to fit nicely on the skewer)
- Piece of green leaf lettuce, folded if too big
- Prosciutto, folded
- Marinated mushroom (if they are large, slice in hand, otherwise use them whole)
- Mozzarella ball
- Green pitted Castlevetrano olives
Feel free to mix up this assortment according to your preferences and what your guests will enjoy most. Here are some other ideas:
- Kalamata or black olives (pitted)
- Roasted red peppers or mini marinated peppers
- Hard provolone cheese or ricotta salata cheese
- Pepperoni or mortadella
- Grilled vegetables, like eggplant
- Marinated artichoke hearts
- Sun-dried tomatoes
Arrange the skewers on a bed of greens to make the platter look more festive and enticing. I also like to tuck an extra pieces of cheese or meat in and around the skewers. Just fold them and tuck them into the greens. Of course, no antipasto platter is complete without bread or focaccia! To keep the antipasto gluten free for those with dietary restrictions, I like to toast or grill slices of my favorite Promise gluten free bread served with a delicious garlic-herb infused olive oil.
For those with dietary restrictions other than gluten, you can change up the ingredients to meet the needs of your family. For example, if your family is vegetarian, omit the cured meats from the skewers and add ore veggies or cheeses. If you are vegan, load up on veggies and opt to include soy-based cheeses or tofu.