On our trip to Italy, our Editorial Art Director Alexis and her family enjoyed a meal together to celebrate reuniting with their extended family. One of the dishes they fell in love with was a grilled vegetable antipasto. The word antipasto means “before the meal” in Italian. The tradition of an antipasto stretches back to medieval times in Italy, when diners used to mingle over finger foods, both sweet and savory, before sitting down to eat. Early recipes include everything from sugared nuts to clotted cream to spiced ham. Now, antipasti platters can have anything from olives, roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes and mushrooms and pepperoncini, chunks of Parmesan, fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, sauteed zucchini, broccoli rabe, nuts, salami, fresh ricotta and bread on the side. We think there is no better way to start a meal, than with an abundant antipasto platter, artfully arranged with layers of meat, cheeses, vegetables and more. Get our recipe for the antipasto we enjoyed in Savona!
We made this antipasto platter filled with the most delicious grilled vegetables when we were in Savona, Italy. It is the perfect compliment to any spring meal, especially with a lamb or chicken main course. Try it for your next family get-together and be sure to let us know what you think!
Grilled Vegetable Antipasto
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The perfect "before the meal" meal, this grilled vegetable antipasto is quick, easy and delicious. Not to mention, it looks very beautiful, too!
Trim the ends eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash and slice them thinly horizontally. Seed and remove the stems on the bell peppers. Slice them in half so you have square shaped pieces, about 1 inch wide. Trim off the stems from the mushrooms and using a small spoon, scrape out and discard the black gills. Remove the outer layer of the pearl onion to expose the shiny skin.
Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, add some thyme and season with sea salt and pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the vegetables to release some of their juices. Toss again just before grilling.
While your vegetables rest, you will want to prep your grill but getting it really hot and oiling the grill rack. Working in batches, place the vegetables on the grill rack and cook, turning once, until blistered black and tender - about 4-5 minutes per side.
Once done, transfer the vegetables to a platter. Drizzle with olive oil and season well with sea salt and pepper. Now comes the hardest part, arranging them! Starting with the eggplant, make a circle around the platter. Next up is the pearl onions, then the peppers and lastly the zucchini in the middle. Then serve!