Grilled vegetables, tomato sauce and toasted bread are just some of the delicious things you can add to this appetiser.
For the dressing:
• Mix all the ingredients and whisk them lightly.
• Keep tasting the mixture every few minutes to check for sourness or sweetness. The dressing should be tangy in taste.
• Adjust the mixture by adding sugar or honey.
For the vegetables:
• Marinate the sliced vegetables in the dressing for about an hour or so. Allow them to sit in the refrigerator for the juice to sink in.
• Sprinkle the veggies with oregano and fresh parsley for added taste.
On the side
• Cut some pita bread into small, triangular pieces and toast it.
• Add a small bowl of hummus or salsa sauce to dip the vegetables in.
The concept of antipasti
Antipasto (plural: antipasti) is the Italian name given to the foods offered before a main meal — an appetiser, if you will. This is a delightful way to set the stage for the coming feast and invite family and friends to the dinner table. The presentation of antipasti — the different colours, artful composition, varied tastes and the care taken in its presentation — serve as reminders for guests that it is time for relaxation, pleasure and indulgence.
According to Italian tradition, the ingredients of antipasti are selected on the basis of colour, flavour and how well they complement one another and the main course. A typical antipasti platter includes olives, pepperoni, anchovies, mushrooms, artichokes, cured meats, pickles, different cheeses and vegetable slices dipped in oil or vinegar. It can be served hot or cold, in bite-size plates or as elegant centrepieces from which everyone is served. In Italy, the most common antipasto dish includes a simple display of cured meats like salami or mortadella slices along with hard cheeses garnished with olives, onions, peppers or sun-dried tomatoes.
The Italians generally save antipasti for special occasions and big parties and celebrations. In Milan, enjoying an aperitif (alcoholic drinks served before a meal) has become a sort of institution. The Milanese consider drinking wine while nibbling on some potato chips, olives and peanuts an hour before the main course an essential for the good life. In fact, it would be unthinkable for the Milanese to start a dinner without an aperitif!.
Winter vegetables for antipasti?
Indulge in your favourite cured meats and cheeses, served with a mix of the best vegetables and fruits the winter season has to offer. These include:
• Red chillies
Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, January 11th, 2015.
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