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Rustic Antipasto


Grilled Eggplant:

  • 1 small eggplant, thinly sliced

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to baste slices plus 1 tablespoon

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley, to garnish

  • Table cheeses:

  • 2/3 pound total Italian table cheeses, 1/3 pound each of 2 varieties: sharp provolone, Pepato, Fontina, Parmigian-Reggiano

  • 1 jar, 16 ounces, roasted red peppers, drained and sliced

Artichokes and Mushrooms:

  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, 15 ounces, drained well

  • 1 can button mushrooms, 14 ounces, drained

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 1/2 tablespoon thyme

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3/4 pound total (1/4 pound each) thinly sliced Italian meats: sliced sopressata, capicola and Genoa salami

  • 1/2 pound black olives from bulk olive bins, any variety


Preheat a grill pan to high. Brush eggplant slices with oil and place on grill. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Grill eggplant 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Arrange sliced grilled eggplant on a platter and top with a splash of red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and chopped fresh parsley. Wedge table cheeses and arrange them on your antipasto platter. Arrange sliced drained roasted red peppers next to your eggplant. Combine artichokes and mushrooms in a bowl and toss with crushed garlic, lemon, extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, and thyme. Season artichokes and mushrooms with salt and pepper. Set aside. Fan out sliced Italian meats on your platter between cheeses and pile your olives at the center of the platter. Prepare the rest of your meal. Just before serving, remove crushed garlic clove from artichokes and mushrooms and transfer the mixture to the antipasto platter.