Summer Vegetarian Antipasto From Leftovers, Odds & Ends

Non-traditional vegetarian antipasto
Non-traditional vegetarian antipasto

Is it hot in your house? Don’t feel like cooking? How about a non-traditional, vegetarian antipasto for dinner?

There is something so gracious and gratifying about a big generous platter of the good things from your refrigerator and cabinet, preferably served outdoors with a glass of wine or a cold one.

I can’t explain why, but something about putting everything on one big family platter in the middle of the table makes it seem a lot more special than grabbing everything from the fridge and leaving them in their original containers.

The best part is you can put it all together in just a few minutes.

Don’t feel limited to the standard repertoire of antipasto items you see at restaurants. Feel free to include tasty bits of leftovers, raw vegetables, quick pickled vegetables, an item or two from carryout, whatever you’ve got!

To get you started, here’s what was on our platter last week, pictured above:

  • marinated green olives
  • fresh mozarella
  • heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • shards of parmesan
  • leftover roasted green beans from carryout
  • leftover corn and zucchini risotto – too lazy to fry it into cakes
  • more leftover corn and zucchini (I diced too much for the risotto), quickly sauteed with red onion, garlic and olive oil
  • cucumber
  • ultra-thin slices of lemon, marinated in olive oil, parsley, chili flakes, sea salt and sugar (another Mario Batali trick)
  • and of course, slices of baguette, brushed with olive oil and toasted

Obviously if you set out to make this exact platter, it is going to be a huge hassle. But if you take the concept, maybe stop at the store for a baguette and a couple vegetables and raid your fridge and pantry, you can have this on the table in just a few minutes.

Other wonderful options: roasted peppers, pepperoncini, aged balsamic vinegar, Middle eastern spreads like hummus or baba ganouj, roasted eggplant, roasted garlic, white beans… the possibilities are endless.

Try it and I’ll bet you’ll find your whole family will love this light, relaxing way of eating where everyone gets to choose what they want for their next bite.

And by the way, if you enjoyed this post, how about subscribing to my RSS feed. And have a great holiday weekend!

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Thursday, August 28th, 2008 in Appetizers, Gluten-Free or modifiable, Recipes, Salads, Vegan or Modifiable.

4 Responses to “Summer Vegetarian Antipasto From Leftovers, Odds & Ends”

  1. Reply
    August 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm #

    Love it. I like to do the same thing and it always makes for the best and most leisurely dinners. I call them cutting board meals.

  2. Reply
    August 28, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    We do this pretty often at our house – usually a combination of leftovers and new bits, always with crostini. A rosemary-white bean spread is almost always on the menu, along with some kind of cheese, some kind of tomatoes, and usually a crunchy veggie like fennel to dip. Yum.

    Michael, I forget – have you ever posted about the book _Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day_? I’m floored by how easy they make breadmaking, and I’d love to hear your take on it sometime.

  3. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    August 29, 2008 at 12:34 pm #

    Wind – “cutting board meals” – perfect!

    Anne – I don’t know that book, but I have a feeling I’m going to soon 🙂

  4. Reply
    September 8, 2008 at 5:19 pm #

    Looks great …! I started doing this when the fridge needed to be “weeded” out and everyone thought I went to a lot of special effort … lol ….SHHH don’t tell!


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