ANTIPASTI
Most of these items can be stored on your pantry and refrigerator shelves so you can prepare just as much as you need for a small or large crowd. From this list you can pick and choose what you like. The full compliment should keep 8-10 guests happy for about an hour.

2 bulbs fresh fennel (tops trimmed off)
1 bunch fresh broccoli
2 cloves garlic -- minced
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 - 10 whole lettuce leaves (more if needed)
2 jars roasted red peppers (7 oz.ea.) -- drained
1 container Italian or Kalamata black olives (16 oz.) -- drained
1 container spicy marinated Sicilian green olives (16 oz.) -- drained
1 container marinated mushrooms (16 oz.) -- drained
2 cans imported Italian tuna fillet packed in olive oil (6 oz.ea.) -- drained
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts (6 oz.)
4 ounces thinly sliced Genoa salami
4 ounces thinly sliced Italian hard salami
4 ounces sliced Provolone cheese
4 ounces sliced fresh Mozzarella cheese
4 ounces fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese -- thinly sliced
Fresh Italian parsley for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

All the ingredients should be readily available at your local grocer or deli. If not, try ordering from the links on my Shopping Page at

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut fennel bulbs in half lengthwise, then cut into slices or wedges about1/2" thick. Cut broccoli into florets, reserving stems for another use if desired. Place fennel, broccoli and garlic on a shallow baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add olive oil and toss it all to coat everything well. Roast 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally, or until softend and golden but not browned. Remove vegetables to a plate. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and grate fresh Parmesan cheese over all and cool to room temperature.

Line 1 or 2 large oval platters with the whole lettuce leaves (iceberg or leafy is fine). Begin arranging all the ingredients on the platter(s), one group at a time, trying to alternate colors and types of ingredients (i.e., fennel next to red peppers next to green olives next to a meat next to a cheese, etc.)

Garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley. Serve at room temperature with small bowls of extra virgin olive oil next to the platters for drizzling if desired.

Copyright 2001 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved