24 May 2010

Fire-Seared Antipasto Platter

Fire Seared Antipasto Platter

Grilling season is here in full swing. That is where you will find me this time of the year grilling lamb sliders, marinated chicken breasts and other dishes like this grilled antipasto. To start the week off I am joining in on the Foodbuzz Daily Specials which today feature grill baskets and trays such as the one you will find here. Either a grill basket or tray are handy tools to have for barbecue season. You can grill small foods with ease and delicate foods with confidence. Sturdy grilling baskets let you shake and move a variety of meats, vegetables, seafood, and more, with a simple turn of the handle. Just think you would never have to fish out pieces of asparagus, onion or other small items that have fallen through the grill grates. Lightly oil or spray with cooking spray and you are all set.

One of my favourite appetizers during the summer, no matter the occasion, is to grill up an antipasto platter. This antipasto is more of a game plan than a set recipe. You can tailor the amount of ingredients by the number of guests so double or triple the marinade to suite your needs. You can even grill this up for one or two. This appetizer also lends itself to an assortment of ingredients you may already have on hand or whatever you find is in season. For example this time of year I couldn't find the baby yellow and green zucchini or the baby eggplants that I love. The solution is always to substitute and add whatever seasonal vegetables you come across that day at the farmer's market. I substituted asparagus and used larger zucchini, plus found the tiniest multi-coloured peppers on the planet!!! Perfect for an antipasto!!!

If you can't find capocollo substitute salami or pepperoni. I also added some salame fillete for interest. As you can see this recipe is open to interpretation by adding whatever herbs, meats and vegetables you desire. It is limited only by your imagination. It is also delicious with either buffalo mozzarella or Cypriot halloumi. Grilling the halloumi seemed a natural progression with this recipe since there is nothing like vegetables as well as halloumi on the grill during the summer months!!!!
If you are using a variety of vegetables cook them in batches in order of their cooking time. For example the onions will take longer to be cooked on the grill than the eggplant, etc. This dish is served at room temperature so it does not matter if the veggies cool down.  Set each veggie aside as it cooks, experiment and have fun!!!
**Fire Seared Antipasto Platter**

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
1- 2 teaspoon fresh herbs, chopped (mint, oregano, dill, thyme...whatever you like)


4 small red and white onions, halved or quartered depending on size (leaving root end attached)
3 plum tomatoes, halved
2 red bell peppers, quartered and seeded
2 yellow bell peppers, quartered and seeded
2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
small bunch of asparagus, green beans or sugar snap peas
1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 (1 1/2-pound) eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray


4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 ounce capocollo, thinly sliced (use any amount of cold cuts and variety you wish)
1 package halloumi, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons capers
6 green olives, sliced
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

To prepare dressing, combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.

To prepare vegetables, brush 1/4 cup dressing evenly over tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onion, asparagus and eggplant. Reserve remaining dressing and set aside. Place vegetables in grill basket or tray coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until lightly charred.  Arrange vegetables on platter; brush with remaining dressing. Grill halloumi for 1 - 2 minutes per side. Arrange prosciutto, capocollo, and halloumi on platter. Sprinkle platter with basil, capers, olives, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

 Serves 3 - 4

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  1. I hate to admit it, but I'm lousy when it comes to putting together ingredients for an antipasto plate. This grilled platter is fantastic Val. What a great combination of flavors and ingredients. I would definitely not leave the capocolla out. Let summer begin!

  2. Fantastic! That looks so good!



  3. What a beautiful creation! It looks like summer on a plate!

  4. I love grilling an antipasta platter. It is the sweetest way to use the summer bounty and such a relief from the winter braisings. Your platter is stunning!

  5. So wonderfully summery! This would be great on the porch after a long day on the beach. With wine, of course. :)

  6. What a delicious looking presentation, Val. I love everything you've included in your plate. This is my idea of a great weekend meal.

  7. Oh yes! That grilled Halloumi is center stage...you've got grillin' chops, m'lady.

  8. Love your antipasto platter. Gorgeous grill marks. Great job.


  9. Terrific platter to prepare ahead of time. I wish the weather would warm up a bit more here so I can start grilling.

  10. You've talked me into it - I need to buy a grilling basket for my husband. The picture is gorgeous! It looks like you're already in Italy.

  11. Oh wow.. this is as beautiful as tasty!

  12. Val, the first time i bought a grill basket, my husband groaned thinking it was a silly gadget- now we wouldn't be without one!
    xoxo Pattie

  13. This is just the most lovely way to eat and goes so perfectly when you only drink wine on the days that end in y ;-)

    Great basket for grilling!

  14. Killa grilla! I cannot wait until we get out of our condo and into a house where we will get do the grilling thang.

  15. One of my favorite meals is an antipasto - of course, with a glass of wine and a hunk of crusty bread. Yours looks great!

  16. Val, this is a lovely platter. I've never done a grilled platter like this one and am very tempted to give it a try. You always do such beautiful work that it makes me a bit envious. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  17. All I can say is "Val, please pass the platter!".


  18. AnonymousMay 24, 2010

    Wow, a fabulous antipasto platter for the grilling season! We are making just about everything on the grill since last week :)

  19. oh grilling season is here indeed and I looooove it!!I love the pop of vegetables in this masterpiece. So fresh and healthy... I'd love to have an outdoor grill, but will suffice with my stovetop grill pan for now! Ha.
    Hope you read Latina tomorrow---talking about girls a grillin'! :)

  20. Such a beautiful platter! The fire searing really adds so much flavor. I am so ready for summer! ;)

  21. I'm totally in love with this dish Val! The grilled vegies look amazing as does that haloumi!

  22. look at all that char. good googa mooga, i love the grill. :)

  23. What a beautiful platter! I like everything that you put on it.

  24. Beautiful picture! Looks delicious :]

  25. WOW! Is all I have to say - this looks amazing!!!

  26. Beautiful platter. I LOVE a good antipasto! The grilling definitely gives it an interesting edge.

  27. Your anitpasti platter is a work of art with all of those lovely colors and textures.

  28. This looks like an exceptional platter, great for entertaining. Everything looks delicious!

  29. Val,
    wow... love this! Adding it to my roundup today.

  30. If I were at a barbecue with a platter like that I think that I would be glued to it! :) It looks great!


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