Italian cuisine is particularly rich in hors d'oeuvres, or antipasti, as they are called (singular form: antipasto). Many books give a recipe for a mixed salad called antipasto. This is misleading, however, because the Italian term does not refer to a specific recipe but to any typically Italian hors d'oeuvre,hot or cold.
Many menus of Italian-style restaurants offer a cold antipasto plate or platter comprising an assortment of flavorful tidbits.Typical components include the following:
Cured meats, such as salami, prosciutto, bologna, and boiled ham. Seafood items, especially canned or preserved items such as sardines, anchovies, and tuna. Cheeses, such as provolone and mozzarella. Hard-cooked eggs and stuffed eggs.
Relishes, such as raw carrots, celery, fennel, radishes, cauliflower, and tomatoes, and cooked or pickled items, such as olives, artichoke hearts, small hot peppers, and onions.
Mushrooms and other vegetables prepared á la grecque (p. 694).
Cooked dried beans and other firm vegetables in a piquant vinaigrette.
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