Thursday, January 24, 2013
I volunteered to make an appetizer for a family birthday party and it was suggested I do an antipasti dish. I had served one at our Thanksgiving Brunch and again at our Christmas Brunch so I wanted to change it up bit.
In thinking about what to transport it in and to serve it on I remembered an old tray I had tucked away in a cupboard that I used many years ago to serve ham or turkey or what ever holiday meat was tradition.
The tray is about 18" long and 13" wide at the widest point. It has four small legs (about an inch tall) screwed into the bottom. It came from the home of my former in-laws and had been used by them during many holidays. I am not sure where they got it - there is no name of a manufacturer on it. But I would venture to guess that it is at least 70 to 75 years old.
I thought the tree-like indentation would make for a nice receptacle of olives, with other items alternated within the branches. The bottom was a larger indentation which I thought would hold the cherry tomatoes, small mozzarella balls and fresh basil.
The platter included a variety of red and green olives, the miniature caprese mentioned above, marinated olives, prosciutto rolled into tubes, sliced aged salami, aged provolone chunks, and asparagus spears.
The mushrooms were sautéed in evoo until just soft and then marinated in lemon juice, white wine vinegar, evoo, fresh thyme and ground black pepper. I drained them prior to putting on platter.
The asparagus were tossed in evoo and roasted in the oven for about 10 minutes.
After unwrapping at the destination, I sliced parmesan and scattered on top and then poured a previously prepared mix of evoo, crushed garlic and shredded fresh basil.
Toasted baguette slices were served with the antipasti.
The appetizer was well received and the dish added a conversation piece - speculation as to how it was made, who made it and just how old it might be! My one follower may know - if so A, let us know.