Dinner Idea for Hot Summer Nights: Antipasto

Too hot or too tired to cook? Consider making an antipasto dish as your main meal. Long considered a "first course" in traditional Italian meals or as a shared appetizer plate in Italian-American restaurants, antipasto dishes are filling and satisfying, can be made ahead, and best of all, can be served cold!

There is no hard and fast rule for what goes on an antipasto plate. I like to serve mine over a bed of arugula or other mixed greens, but this is not absolutely necessary.

Here are some antipasto suggestions:

• Fresh vegetables such as tomatoes with basil, or steamed broccoli tossed in fine-chopped garlic and olive oil
Eggplant caponata
• Sliced and grilled v egetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant
• Anchovies or sardines, or Italian tuna packed in olive oil
• Italian cheeses such as mozzarella, burrata, forme di formaggio, robiola, pecorino, sottocentre, and parmigiano-romano
• olives
• pepperoncini
• marinated mushrooms
• capers
• cured meats such as salame, bresaola, prosciutto, coppa, or mortadella
• roasted garlic
• artichoke hearts, either marinated or roasted
• marinated beans, such as cannelli or borlotti
• marinated sun-dried tomatoes
• steamed green beans
• marinated octopus salad

Drizzle the whole thing with some olive oil, and enjoy with a crusty piece of bread and a crisp glass of white wine. Buon appetito!

Related:
Appetizers As a Full Dinner Meal!

(Image: Kathryn Hill)