Vegetarian Antipasto Platter

Vegetarian Antipasto platter

Starting to think about festive entertaining? Remember it doesn’t have to be complicated to be tasty or impressive.

Every Christmas Day I gather friends and family around a table in the garden for a late lunch. And despite often working right up until Christmas Eve, I always look forward to filling the table with delicious food.

Inspired by travels around Italy, I keep it super simple with platters down the centre of the long table.

Use a colourful array of antipasto as a starting point then add whatever you like, such as cooked prawns with lots of lemon wedges; smoked salmon with caperberries, dill and thinly sliced red onion; salumi such as pancetta, the spreadable pork sausage nduja, and salami.

The capsicum and mushrooms, as outlined below, are best cooked the day before, as is the eggplant, even the asparagus can be steamed a day ahead.

In the morning, everything, including the insalata caprese, can be assembled on the platter and covered in the fridge until just before the guests arrive; do take it out at least 30 minutes before serving so it isn’t fridge cold.

To drink I recommend a sbagliato, Aperol spritz or another of my favourite prosecco cocktails.

If you’re in Sydney, Southern Highlands or ACT make your Christmas even easier with a Southern Italian Christmas Recipe Kit with all the ingredients delivered to your door.

Serves: 4 or more


extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

crusty bread, for serving

Find the recipe for Grilled Eggplant here.

Find the recipe for Steamed Asparagus here.

Funghi Trifolati

1 clove garlic, crushed

pinch dried chilli flakes

200g button mushrooms, quartered

1 1/2 tablespoons finely sliced flat-leaf parsley

Braised Capsicum

1 red capsicum

1 yellow capsicum

1 clove garlic, crushed

Insalata Caprese

180g buffalo bocconcini, quartered

100g grape tomatoes, halved

12 or more small basil leaves


Funghi Trifolati: Put 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and the garlic in a small frying pan over medium heat. When it starts to sizzle, reduce heat to low, stir in chilli, a good pinch of salt and the mushrooms, cover and cook for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms give off their juices and are tender. Stir in parsley. Cool then refrigerate until needed.

Capsicum: Slice capsicums into 1cm-thick strips, discarding seeds and membrane. Place 1/4 cup oil and garlic in a frying pan over medium heat until it starts to sizzle. Stir in capsicum and a good pinch of salt. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 35–45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Set aside to cool in the cooking juices, then cover and refrigerate for a few hours, preferably overnight.

Insalata Caprese: Scatter mozzarella over one end of a large serving platter. Top with tomato then basil.

To serve: Arrange Grilled Eggplant at the other end of the serving platter. Arrange Funghi Trifolati, Steamed Asparagus, and Capsicum (with its cooking juices) in strips down the centre of the platter. between the eggplant and Insalata Caprese. Drizzle everything with a little oil and sprinkle with salt. Add a grind of pepper over the Insalata Caprese.

Serve with crusty bread.

You’ll find links to print-friendly versions of all of these recipe here  as well as step-by-step videos and recipes for more dishes that can be added to your antipasto feast.

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Written by Roberta Muir

Roberta Muir loves making it easy for home cooks to explore new cuisines and ingredients and sharing her passion for cooking, eating, drinking and travelling. She’s a recipe writer, cooking teacher, and author of four cookbooks including the Sydney Seafood School Cookbook. Find more of her inspiration at

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