June 21, 2011

Antipasto Platter with Grape Tomato & Caper Salad {Party Series 3}

An antipasto platter is one of my go-to entertaining items.  Especially when guys are involved in the party.  For some reason, guys seem to really love an antipasto platter.  Can't say that I blame them ... I really love an antipasto platter, too.  And I especially love an antipasto platter when it has a beautiful, flavorful Grape Tomato & Caper Salad in the middle of it.

The truly beautiful thing about an antipasto platter (aside from all the wonderful colors on the plate!) is its versatility.  Include some cured meats, Italian cheeses, olives, artichoke hearts ... whatever combination you want!  Garnish the platter with fresh herbs, place it in the center of your serving table, and you have colorful and tasty, easily-assembled party fare.

Here are my usual suspects:  Hard salami, Genoa salami, turkey pepperoni, or cappicola for meats.  I typically include two meats.  For cheeses - fresh mozzarella, smoked mozzarella, and provolone are great choices.  Then a selection of olives, marinated artichokes, marinated mushrooms, peppadew sweet-hot peppers, roasted red peppers, or roasted cipollini onions.

This is portable, too.  Going to the park for a picnic?  Out to watch an outdoor concert?  No problem!  Put your antipasto items in zip-top bags, toss them in a cooler, and assemble them on a plate (it can even be a paper one!) to serve it up!

For my arrangement, I like to put a small bowl in the center of my platter and fill it with Grape Tomato & Caper Salad.  I love having the bright red of the tomatoes right in the middle.  I then place my other antipasto items around the tomato salad, working in sections and doing my best to make a nice arrangement of colors. Serve it with baguette slices ... yummy.  You know though, if you simply make sure to include tasty good-quality items, you really can't go wrong with your arrangement!

So would you like to know how to make the Grape Tomato & Capers Salad?  I thought you might.  This is soooooo good!  We often enjoy this as a side dish salad ... no antipasto platter involved.

Start by slicing some ripe, juicy grape tomatoes in half.

Put in lots of chopped fresh basil.

Then mix up a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and capers.

Pour the dressing over the tomatoes, and top it all off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Dish it up just as it is, or show it off in the center of a gorgeous antipasto platter and entertain away!  Either way, I think you'll enjoy it.

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Grape Tomato & Caper Salad
Source:  My Mom, as adapted from Cooking Light magazine
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, torn
3 T. drained small capers
2 T. olive oil
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 T. grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1.  Place halved tomatoes and basil in a bowl.  

2.  Combine capers, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Pour over tomatoes, tossing to coat.  Top with grated Parmesan cheese.  

3.  Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving. 


The {Party Series} Posts:
My Mom Throws a Great Party! {Party Series 1}
Grand Marnier & Spiced Rum Fruit Dip {Party Series 2}
Antipasto Platter with Grape Tomato & Caper Salad {Party Series 3}
Marinated Cheese {Party Series 4}
Mini Mocha-Toffee Crunch Cheesecakes {Party Series 5}
Raspberry Chocolate Truffles & Drunken Cherries {Party Series 6}
Raspberry-Almond, Caramel-Walnut, & Lemon-Coconut Bars {Party Series 7}
Toasted Pesto Rounds {Party Series 8}


  1. I love your antipasto platter! It looks like the perfect thing to make for a party. For some reason, when we're having lots of people over, I always gravitate towards complicated things that make me feel a little frenzied, so I should strongly consider going the antipasto way in the future.
    I also happen to love capers, so your tomatoes tossed with dressing sound fantastic!

  2. I love that you use balsamic vinegar on this too; yum! Looks so juicy; my mouth is watering!

  3. You hold the key to my heart in creating perfect 'antipasto' platters! So few people seem to be able to do so! Thank you and I'd love to feature you on my 'tomatoes' FB round-up group! Love following you now too!



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