Antipasto Platter

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Half the fun is being together in the kitchen preparing this beautiful platter the other is enjoying it with family, friends and great wine!

Serves 8 to 10

2 loaves of Italian or French bread

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

20 slices sopressata or Genoa salami

20 slices mortadella20 slices prosciutto6 ounces (approximately 1-1/2 cups) Parmesan cheese, cut into chunks

1 cup marinated olives

1 cup white bean puree

3 roasted red bell peppers

To prepare the crostini, adjust the oven rack to the middle position,

Pre-heat  the oven to 400 F.

Cut the bread on an angle in 1/4-inch slices. Brush both sides of each slice lightly with olive oil and place on  baking sheet. Bake until the bread turn golden and crispy, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. (There’s no need to turn the slices over halfway through.) You should have more than two dozen slices, You can make the crostini up to four days before you use them; store them in an airtight container

Arrange the salami, mortadella, prosciutto, and Parmesan cheese on a large platter. Serve the crostini, artichokes, olives, white bean puree, and peppers along side in separate bowls.



2 pounds frozen artichoke hearts

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 pieces of garlic, peeled and sliced thin

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped

1 lemon, sliced very thin, for garnish

Cook the frozen artichoke hearts according to package directions. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel. Heat a frying pan until hot. Add 4 tablespoons olive oil, and swirl it around the pan. Add the garlic and saute, shaking the pan back and forth so the garlic doesn’t burn. The minute the garlic stats to turn golden, quickly add the artichoke hearts. Lower the heat and continue to shake the artichokes back and forth. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the red pepper. Using a metal spoon, stir and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, intil the artichokes start to caramelize.

Pour the artichokes into a serving bowl, add the lemon juice, and stir. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive over the top. Add a pinch of kosher salt and allow to cool to room temperature. Garnish with fresh the parsley a slice of lemon.

White Bean Puree 

2 cups fresh white beans, or 2-15-ounce cans of white beans, drained and rinsed

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for sprinkling

Cracked pepper

1 scallion, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves pulled off

5 fresh basil leaves

6 lemons wedges fro garnish

1 baguette, cut into 16 1/4-inch slices

Soak the fresh beans overnight, or for a quick soak bring the beans to a boil, covering the beans by 4 inches. Turn off-the heat and let sit for an hour. Drain and rinse under cool water. Pour the beans back into stockpot.

Fill a large stockpot with cool water, covering the beans by 4 inches. Do not add salt to the water as this will make the beans tough. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a gentle boil, cover and cook until the beans are tender, usually 90 minutes for soaked beans (2 hours or more for beans that haven’t been soaked). Taste test to see if the beans are tender. If they’re not yet tender, cook until they are, checking every 15 minutes. Be careful to not overcook, or the beans will fall apart. If the beans have soaked up to much water while cooking that they’re not longer covered by at least 4 inches of water, add more water.

Place the beans, 3/4 teaspoon salt (1/2 teaspoon salt if using canned beans), pepper to taste, scallion, and lemon juice in a food processor. Start to slowly add the oil, and precess until smooth. Adjust the seasoning, adding more salt in necessary.

Pour into a serving bowl, and drizzle 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil over the top. Sprinkle on a pinch of kosher salt, cracked pepper, and fresh chopped thyme leaves. Garnish with fresh basil and lemon wedges.

Serve with baguette slices, crostini, or crackers.


1 pound mixed olives (purchase them already mixed, or mix together your favorites)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon marjoram leaves

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 table lemon zest

Drain all the brine from the olives. Place the drained olives in a bowl. Add the olive oil, oregano, thyme, jarjoram, red pepper, and lemon zest. Mix well.Let stand at room tempeature for 20 miutes. Mis again, and serve


4 red bell peppers (if you want to throw in a yellow or orange pepper instead of using all red, that’s great-mix it up!)

1/4 cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves, each one cut into 4 slices

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Cracked pepper

1/4 cup Italian parsley chopped coarsely

Reheat the broiler to high. Place the peppers on  baking sheet. Place the baking sheet under the broiler, positioning the peppers 4 inches from the heat source. Char the peppers black on all sides, turning with tongs. Remove the peppers from the baking sheet and put them in a brown paper bag for 20 minutes to cool.

Remove the skins and seeds. Cut the peppers into strips and place in a bowl. Add olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper to taste, and parsley. Mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour ofrlonger to give the garlic a chance to flavor the oil. Remove the garlic and save it for another use. Serve the peppers in a small bowl and sprink

parsley, chopped

All the beautiful photo’s, Diane Cu & Todd Porter

Recipes and photo’s from “Big Bowl of Love”


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