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Pass the antipasto

Summer is here! It’s time to chill and unwind. Unna Burch shows us how to put together a simple antipasto platter.

Honestly, this is my favourite time of the year. I’m such a hermit over winter, I’d much prefer to stay in and stay warm, but summer has a completely different vibe – easiness. During this time of year I’m always keen for a get-together. And I love simple eats – a platter of good food with some boozy drinks out on the deck on warm summer evening with family or friends.

Unna Burch (AKA The Forest Cantina)

I decided to put together a local antipasto to inspire you to do the same. It’s so easy to just grab a few different bits and pieces. It can be completely store bought or you might like to use some of your own homemade things like pesto, hummus or relish. It’s really up to you how easy or homemade you want to go. My idea of a good platter has lots of textures and flavours – you want each bite to be interesting and tasty. I read once that, when you are putting a board together and choosing cheese, to include one blue, one soft and one hard. It can be daunting when choosing cheese as there are so many on the market, but that is a good guide to go by. I also like to include bread (of course!), oil for dipping, cured meats or sausages, relishes or chutneys, some vegetables – fresh, pickled or grilled and a nice cold drink on the side.

The huge custom serving board that I used was lovingly made by my husband. He has made several of them for my food styling in my cookbook (available here) and it’s the perfect size for loading with yummy things.

ANTIPASTO PLATTER

INGREDIENTS
Meats – sausages, porchetta and terrine
Cheese – Havarti, Brie and Blue
runny honey
chutney
3 courgettes in 1cm slices
4 French breakfast radish, sliced thinly
small pickled cucumbers
bread
olive oil
olives

To garnish
fennel fronts
chive flowers (or thyme leaves)
extra radish
fresh artichokes

METHOD
In the corner of a board, take a piece of wax paper to lay the meat on. Cook the sausages then slice into bite size chunks. Press a pick into each one. Arrange on a platter with the other meats. One of the meats I selected was a ham and fennel terrine – so I garnished with fennel fronds.

Take the cheese and crumble or slice bits off – I drizzle some of the cheese with honey (we have beehives – so I used our own honey) and garnish with chive flowers. Cheese and honey is such an amazing combination!

In tea cups, glasses or little saucers – plate the chutney, olive oil and olives and place on the board.

For the courgettes – I cook these in a panini press! It’s so fast. Rub each slice with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and cook in the machine, taking out the vegetables that have been bar marked as you go (or grill in the oven or griddle pan). Add to the platter with the other vegetables.

Warm the bread in the oven if you wish – slice and add to the platter. Enjoy the platter with your favourite drink.

Our friends at Six Barrel Soda have come up with something a little special to sip on the side – a Celery Pimms Cup!

At Six Barrel Soda Co. we’re all about mixing up new creations and testing out new twists on the old classics. So here’s our twist on a classic Pimms cup, using our Celery Tonic syrup.
Celery Tonic is so much more than the name suggests – this unique brew is a New York deli original, harking back to the days when sodas were mixed up in pharmacies as ‘tonics’ to cure ills.
Not only will you find hints of celery (and actually celery seed as well) as the name suggests, but these flavours are also paired with pops of apple and cucumber, to create a fresh and crisp soda for summer drinks (or, well, anytime really).

CELERY PIMMS CUP

INGREDIENTS
35mL Celery Tonic Syrup
½ cup Pimms No1 Cup
Sparkling water, soda water, or ginger ale
Ice
Cucumber, mint and lime to garnish

METHOD
Build Celery Tonic and Pimms in a glass over ice, top up with sparkling or soda water (or ginger ale for an extra spice hit). If you’re using a pitcher, multiply quantities accordingly per person. Garnish with cucumber, mint and lime.

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