Baked Antipasti 

Baked Antipasti Recipe

In a meal with multiple courses, one often finds one course consisting of extremely strong flavored savory foods, salty, oily, fishy or fermented, such as cheeses, olives, smoked

 meat or caviar. These are designed to counteract the effect of alcohol. But I think they had a deeper purpose. One finds that if it was customary to drink after the meal, as it was in English tradition, one of the last courses would be savory. If it was customary to drink and then eat, these foods would be served in small portions before the meal, or completely separate from the meal as in the hors d'oevre and cocktail snacks. At the height of French opulence, so much alcohol was consumed, and continually, that hors d'oevres would be served between each course. In Italian tradition, long multi course meals are also part of the culture, so they too have a course consisting of savory foods, and these are called antipasti (singular antipasto).  

It is traditionally the first course upon sitting at the table. It usually consists of some kind of fermented food, such as cured or smoked meat, pickled foods like olives, artichoke hearts and anchovies, chili peppers or cheese. This is very interesting because unbeknown to the people of old, all of these foods, prepared in the traditional way, had probiotic properties, or beneficial organisms which aid the gut and digestion. Another common  type of antipasto revitalized the palate with its was freshness. Garden vegetables feature in these dishes, and you have all the lovely dips with crisp greens as raw food. It has been found recently, that raw vegetables, grown organically, are also carriers of beneficial micro-organisms.

This antipasto consists of baked vegetables, and blends rich oven flavours that are so intense, that it qualifies to stand among the rich dishes in the savoury antipasti course. It 

is showered with herbs which are then baked and piquant, drizzled with oil and caramelized with direct heat. After baking, it is tossed  in some more olive oil and home made vinegar. Vinegar made the old fashioned way, home brewed, is a good source of probiotic lacto bacteria. See how to make your own vinegar here

Preparation time: 30 minutes 
Cooking time: at least 20 to 30 minutes
Resting time: 5 minutes
Total time needed: at least 55 minutes
Grade of Difficulty: standard


Serves 4 to  6

Baked Antipasti

  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin stripes 
  • 3 medium sized marrows, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 red and 1 green onion, peeled and cut into 2.5 cm / 1 inch pieces
  • 150 gram / 5.29 oz green beans, ends cut off
  • 150  gram / 5.29 oz broccoli, cut into small roses
  • 250 gram / 8.81 oz button mushrooms, halved
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp. mixed herbs
  • 1.5 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. plain paprika powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated vegetable stock
  • 150 ml / 5 liquid oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. plum dark balsamico (or good plum vinegar

Vegetarian Antipasti 

  • Add all herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, granulated vegetable stock and olive oil to a large bowl and mix all ingredients well
  • Add all the chopped vegetables to the bowl and mix all ingredients well making sure that all vegetables are coated with the spiced oil
  • Let the vegetables rest for 5 minutes  and than place them on 1 or 2 baking trays, spreading them out to prevent them from covering each other
  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius / 482 Fahrenheit
  • Place baking trays in middle shelves of the oven and bake with top and bottom heat for about 20 minutes or till the vegetables are done and have begun to brown (Depending on the wetness of the vegetables and your oven the baking time can be slightly shorter or longer. So keep an eye on them from time to time.
  • Once the baked Antipasti are done remove them from the oven and let them cool down a little for a few minutes
  • Sprinkle antipasti generously with olive oil
  • Sprinkle them with 1 tbsp. of plum vinegar or dark balsamico per baking tray
  • Serve Baked Antipasti warm as a starter

History of Antipasti

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