The Ultimate Antipasti Platter

  • Simon's Smashing Pumpkin Dip
  • Mushroom truffle mascarpone dip
  • carrots, cut lengthways into sticks
  • celery, cut lengthways into sticks
  • menu italian artichokes.
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • morabito olives, pitted. I particularly love these ones
  • manzanilla olives. My favorites are a spanish variety stuffed with anchovies
  • italian peperonata-peppers. a brilliant quick way is these amazing italian yellow and red peppers cooked with onions in sunflower oil with garlic and parsley
  • fig & marsala salsa jam
  • fois gras
  • pukara estate caramelised balsamic
  • pukara estate lemon olive oil
  • spanish boquerones. Basically a marinated and preserved anchovy. A traditional spanish tapas known as a white anchovy
  • spanish anchovy fillets. These are the best anchovys you can get
  • serrano ham, slices. my favourite
  • strolghino salame, sliced. a traditional italian cured salami.
  • parmigiano-reggiano 5 cheese cream spread
  • dolce gorgonzola. ivory, blue speckled soft, spreadable texture and slightly salty aftertaste
  • crumbed melting camembert. french cheese where you heat the pots up in the oven and once the cheese is melted add to the platter and dip with baguette slices
  • crackers your favourite ones
  • slices of fresh baguette
  • grissini sticks

Mushroom Truffle Mascarpone Dip

  • 150g marcapone cheese
  • 2 tbsp spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp mushroom truffle paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

My smashing pumpkin dip

Grissini

  • 200ml lukewarm water
  • 25g compressed yeast
  • 500g italian 00 baking flour
  • 90ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 15g salt
  • 1 egg yolk

Assembly

  • 12 Serrano ham, slices
  • 30g fig and marsala
  • small bunch of rocket

The Ultimate Antipasti Platter

Mix all ingredients together. Season to taste then serve. Refrigerate until ready to serve Preheat oven to 190°C. Place the pumpkin onto a roasting tray and drizzle the oil over it. Place into the oven and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until very soft. Remove from the oven, place into a food processor then add the cream cheese and Simon Gault Home Cuisine Indian seasoning. Puree until smooth, check the flavour and if you want a stronger Indian flavor simply add more seasoning to your liking. Place into a serving bowl and serve with corn chips or crackers. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Put half the lukewarm water in a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over it and leave it to stand for 2 minutes to soften. Whisk with a fork to dissolve the yeast, then let it stand for a further 5 minutes to activate. Put the flour, olive oil, yeast mix, salt and egg yolk in an electric mixer bowl. Mix with a dough hook to a crumbly texture. Slowly and progressively add the remaining lukewarm water and continue to mix until the dough is solf and elastic. Turn out the dough on the bench, form into a ball and cover with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave to prove until nearly double in size. Using a palette knife, cut off small pieces of dough one by one, pulling and streching each piece to measure around 25-30cm in length and the thickness of a pen. Place the dough lengths on an oiled oven tray and bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, before storing in an airtight container. Lay out the ham slices on a clean chopping board or bench top and spread the fig marsala compote evenly over each slice. Divide the rocket into 12 portions and position one at the end of each slice. Nestle a grissini stick in the rocket and tightly roll up the ham to enclose the rocket and the grissini. Repeat to make 12 wrapped grissini. Serve standing in a tall glass.   SIMON SAYS the addition of 4 tbsp of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano after the lukewarm water makes for a great grissini that can stand alone.