Little Italy

By Lisa Bolton
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I married an Italian, so there was a lot of pressure when I was designing this board! The best approach to creating an Italian board is to visit your local Italian deli.  Politely ask the signora behind the counter for some mortadella and a special prosciutto – she’ll know to slice it transparently thin. Select a burrata, a provolone and maybe a small piece of Parmesan.  Swing by the olive bar, and don’t forget the bread.  The quality of these components is so great, you could just lay them on the counter and it would be heavenly.  Salute!

SERVES
4

Ingredients

  • Black grapes, 3 cups
  • Fresh figs, 4
  • Cantaloupe
  • Prosciutto di Parma, 16 slices
  • Soppressata salami, hot, 16 slices
  • Mortadella, 16 slices
  • Bresaola, 16 slices
  • Finocchiona salami, 1 link
  • Provolone, 284 grams
  • Asiago, 284 grams
  • Burrata, 227 grams
  • Croccantini Italian crackers, 32
  • Pickled squid, 1/2 cup
  • Giardiniera (pickled vegetables), ½ cup
  • Assorted olives, 40 (see tips)
  • Small pears, for garnish
  • Fresh basil, for garnish

Directions

  1. Prepare the fruit: Snip the grapes into clusters of four to six. Slice the figs in half. Slice the cantaloupe into thin wedges (1/4” to 1/2” thick), and wrap some of the wedges with half a slice of prosciutto.
  2. Serve the pickled squid and giardiniera in small bowls. Prepare all the other components in the style that works best for you, then arrange everything on and around your board, with the garnishes nestled in.

TIPS

This board calls for more olives than will likely be eaten, but the long olive dish makes for a dramatic presentation. As long as they’re kept refrigerated in an airtight container, olives will keep in their brine for up to 1 month and out of the brine for up to two weeks.

Finocchiona, like many other hard Italian salamis, comes with a skin or peel.  Whether to peel this skin off or eat it is heavily debated.  My advice is to leave the skin on and let guest make their own choice. Some people find it chewy, while others feel it adds to the flavor.

*Look for a bottle of Chianti marked Classico – which indicates the grapes came from one of the original four villages that produced Chianti – or Riserva – meaning the wine has aged for at least 27 months.

WATCH

The Marilyn Denis Show Daily at 10am ET on CTV

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