Easy starter: Italian meat and cheese antipasti

Easy starter: Italian meat and cheese antipasti

By 16/12/2013

Are you thinking of a great starter for the big day? This is what my mum used to do to start a special Sunday dinner. It is a classic in the Italian cuisine, "antipasto di salumi" and does not require much cooking if none at all.

All you do is getting a good selection of cold cured Italian meats of your choice, like San Daniele or Parma ham, salami and bresaola, some olives, mozzarella, cheese, and if you like some vegetables like courgettes, rocket, aubergines and tomatoes. A few grissini (Italian breadsticks) or some rustic, crunchy bread will go well with this dish.

Because of the different colours in this dish, without too much effort you can make a very attractive and tasty starter which does not need long to prepare. If you prefer you can arrange it on each guest's plate instead of putting it all in a large one.

  • Prep Time : 30 minutes
  • Cook Time : 10 minutes


Wash and slice the aubergine and the courgettes into thin slices. Heat a griddle pan until very hot then place the vegetables over it for a couple of minutes each side. Put them on a plate and dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

cooking courgettes

Sprinkle some olive oil over the rocket then lay it over a large plate, a tray or a wooden chopping board


Starting from the centre arrange all the meats, the cheese, the vegetables, olives, capers and tomatoes.

You can roll the aubergine slices and make pretty roses. The same can be done for the meats. Just be guided by your creativity.

rolling aubergines

rolling ham

rolling bresaola

Finish off with some basil leafs in the centre of the dish.

cold meats Italian platter


Italian meat antipasti

Italian meat antipasti

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6 Responses to Easy starter: Italian meat and cheese antipasti

  1. gloria

    I love all these! I love courgettes like these!!!

  2. Chris

    That plate looks really really great. It’s the kind of starter I love, although I could also manage a meal with just eating from a plate like this. Maybe I should keep that in mind for when I have guests next time. Then it makes really sense.


    I love the presentation of this food. Can you please tell me how many people the quantities recommended by you would cater for, if I serve it on individual plates , or even as it is on one large plate?

    • Alida

      Hi Susan,
      This will make a generous starter or cold easy meal for at least for 4 people (depending on how hungry they are). Serve with crunchy bread or breadsticks.

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