Sunday, May 1, 2011

Marinated Antipasto Platter

Recipe modified by You Want Me to Cook? on February 22, 2011
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Recipe originally published in Simple and Delicious, December/January 2011.

My husband and I love marinated olives and cheese.  I mean we really LOVE marinated olives and cheese.  We once bought one of those huge tubs of mozzarella balls in marinade from Costco… finished it in a week or so.  If I could buy stuffed olives by the gross ton, I would, and salami?  Mmmmmm.  So when I came across this recipe, I was excited to finally have the ability to make my own marinated cheese and veggies.

My finished product:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Marinated Antipasto Platter
So I was excited that it looked so pretty.  It didn’t take much to make it look like this, so that was even more exciting.  Of course, the obvious issue is that I used sliced mushrooms.  See, I was placed on a new medication around this date and it made me kind of… hazy.  When I read the ingredients, I spaced out the “whole mushroom” part and went with what I usually buy, “sliced”.  My bad.

Picture published in Taste of Home:
© Taste of Home

Of course I’ve already pointed out the mushroom issue.  Between that and the fancy toothpicks, they look fairly similar.  As a side note: I am also getting more proud of my picture-taking ability.

for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessEH – There truthfully isn’t much mess involved.  The marinade is made in a plastic bag you will throw away.  Aside from some draining and grating there’s not much chance to make a mess.

Start-to-Finish Time: OVER EIGHT HOURS – True, there is only about 25 minutes of hands-on time, but you have to let it marinade overnight.  So while the 25 minutes seems like quickie appetizer, you have to prepare it the day before.

Prep Work: SLIGHT BLOOD LOSS – Grating the orange peel is probably your only chance for serious blood loss (I tend to grate and peel my fingers regularly with these tasks), but this and chopping up the cheese are all you’ll have to deal with.

Ease of Recipe: THE BASICS – Measuring, draining, grating and chopping are all you’ll need to know for this dish.  You don’t even have to cook a lick.

OverallNOT BAD – I wouldn’t make this again without some major changes.  Of course, my husband seemed to enjoy it, even if he wasn’t enthusiastic about it.  Let’s just say he hasn’t asked me to make it again.

Recipe Information:
Time estimates are from the original publisher of the recipe, not the length of time it took me to create it.  Look for my comments below.  Nutritional Information is based on original recipe.  Any changes I make to reduce the caloric, fat, cholesterol or sodium content are not reflected in the Nutritional Information.

Prep: 25 minutes + marinating
Servings: 16

Nutritional Information
  • Calories 155
  • Total Fat 13g (Saturated Fat 4g)
  • Cholesterol 21mg
  • Sodium 638mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 3g
  • Fiber trace amounts
  • Protein 8g
For one of the first times, I actually finished the prep work and dish in a shorter amount of time that listed on the recipe.  Of course, they failed to mention in the timing of the recipe that it needs to marinate overnight, so it truly is more like 8½ hours.

The serving size may be a little high for the recipe.  It is ½ ounce of salami per person, which will be roughly a half piece.  I can’t see that being acceptable for a group of 16 people.  Same amount for the cheese.  However, there are plenty of olives and mushrooms, but the items that most people go for first will be limited.

For the amount of cheese and salami you actually get per serving, I am not sure where the high sodium, protein and fat are coming from.  If you enjoy olives and mushrooms, instead of cheese and meat, you probably can get away with mush lower numbers on all counts.

Changes denoted by red text

¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
½ pound part-skim mozzarella cheese, cubed
2/3 cup pimiento-stuffed olives
2/3 cup pitted Greek olives
2/3 cup pitted ripe olives
1 jar (4½ ounces) whole mushrooms, drained
½ pound thinly sliced hard salami
Fit Wash

Ingredient Notes:
Olive Oil – should you use your really expensive extra-virgin olive oil or not.  Absolutely!  The marinade IS the dish, so you’ll want quality ingredients for it.  This is the time to use the good stuff.

Red Wine Vinegar – you’ll find this with the regular vinegar, but usually on the higher shelves.  If you don’t want to spend the money on another type of vinegar, you can use any of the following as a substitute:  white wine vinegar, balsamic or apple cider.

Salami – Just like the olive oil, buy premium salami to serve with this dish.  Check in the premium meat and cheese section of the deli.

Mushrooms – as stated before, I used sliced mushrooms by accident instead of whole mushrooms.  You definitely want to use the whole (or fresh as I’ll point out later).

Fit Wash – ordinarily you don’t need to worry about washing oranges, but since you’re using the peel, I figured it would better be safe than sorry.  I used the Fit Wash since the rind was a little waxy.

Equipment Needed:
© Taste of Home
Marinated Antipasto Platter
Equipment Needed
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Large resealable plastic bag
Large bowl / Measuring glass
Spoon – mixing
Fine Mesh Sieve
Small bowl / Small measuring glass
Large Platter

Equipment Notes:
Large bowl / Measuring Glass – A little trick I learned from one of those assemble-your-meals places is to put plastic bags inside of large measuring cups to keep them upright when adding liquid.  If you don’t have one large enough, use a tall bowl if you have one.

Fine Mesh Sieve – a regular colander may allow some of the spices to remain in the marinade after draining it.  A fine mesh sieve will allow the olive oil and orange juice to go through while keeping the spices, cheese and vegetables separate.

(1)  Place a large resealable plastic bag inside of a large measuring cup or large/tall bowl.  Combine the first six ingredients in this bag.

(2)  Add the cheese, olives and mushrooms; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate overnight.

(3)  Drain marinade; reserving 2 tablespoons into a small bowl or preferably a small measuring glass.

(4)  Thread salami onto toothpicks.

Roll the salami into a roll by folding each side over itself to give it the “fan” look.

(5)  Arrange on a large platter; drizzle with reserved marinade.

(6)  Arrange cheese mixture around salami.

I wasn’t impressed with the marinade.  It was very “orangey”.  It wasn’t bad, but I would have enjoyed a little more olive oil and a little less orange juice.  What would I do differently:
  • I would use less orange juice and just replacing it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • I would try fresh rosemary and tarragon instead of the dried to give the olive oil a lot more flavor.
  • Of course I’d use whole mushrooms as the recipe calls for them, but also I probably would use fresh as well.

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