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
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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