12 whole fresh heads of garlic unpeeled
1 lb mixed cured olives
16 oz jar of marinated red peppers
1 lb dry salami, sliced or whole5 whole medium artichokes
1/2 lb wedge of Gorgonzola cheese
2 Baguettes or rustic breads of your choice
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup coarse sea salt
1 orange, sliced
Small bunch of Italian parsley
Reserve 3 tablespoons of olive oil to drizzle
Antipasti is a traditional Italian way to begin a meal or works wonderfully as a meal in itself. What I love about serving an Antipasti is that every family’s recipe is unique and you can make it your own with your favorite ingredients. The best part about entertaining with an Antipasti is the social connections that occur. It is a very humbling and personal experience to begin a meal with everyone sharing from one platter.
Begin by slicing the top quarter of each garlic clove and discard or reserve. Cover baking sheet with foil and coat foil with ¼ cup of olive oil. In mixing bowl, put garlic with skin on, 2 tablespoons of coarse sea salt and ¼ cup olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Place garlic cut side down on baking sheet, cover with foil. Bake at 200 F for 4 hours. Let cool at room temperature and reserve in refrigerator until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before serving. For the artichokes, wash and cut stems flat to bottom of the artichokes. Slice them in half and remove thistle with spoon from center. Place in the same bowl as garlic cloves, toss with ¼ cup olive oil and salt. On preheated BBQ grill or griddle, place artichoke hearts cut side down and grill until golden brown (approximately four minutes). Turn each artichoke with tongs to hold petals together. Continue grilling round side of artichoke on low heat for an additional 5 minutes. Set aside and cool at room temperature. Drain olive mixture and combine peeled garlic tops from roasted garlic. Sprinkle with fresh Italian herbs and orange slices. Reserve for plating. Drain and plate roasted peppers. Remove casing from salami and slice ¾ of the salami to your desired thickness leaving ¼ of whole salami for presentation. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over artichokes. Put remaining olive oil in dipping bowl. On a diagonal angle, slice your choice of breads and cheese. Serve adjacent or on the same serving platter as rest of ingredients. Use anything that you feel is interesting to you. In dipping bowl, combine remaining 1 ½ cups olive oil and float balsamic vinegar over oil. Antipasti should be served from room temperature to chilled. Prepare your platter up to one day ahead including pre slicing your breads and storing in air tight containers. Keep covered and bring to room temperature 30 minutes before guests arrive and place breads 10 minutes before arrival. Enjoy!