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This seasonal California Aperitivo takes all of the goodness of the traditional Northern Italian Aperitivo and adds a local farm to table twist. This plate is full of fresh, local ingredients and is perfect for small gatherings with LOTS of wine and excellent conversation.
An aperitivo is a pre-dinner drink and light fare meant to whet your appetite for dinner. Prolific throughout Italy and highly regionalized, the the ideal aperitivo time is between 7 and 9 p.m. Partaking in such a tradition is the perfect way to stimulate your appetite for dinner later.
Now, the only way to turn this into an irresistible Californian Aperitivo is simply by including fresh fruits, meats and cheeses from your local farmers market or grocery store.
An aperitivo drink should pair well with snacks, with a focus on cheeses, cured meats, and whatever fruits or vegetables are currently in season. The goal is to enjoy small bites and keep yourself from feeling famished while waiting for your actual dinner. While preparing a California Aperitivo in February, I found blood oranges to be prolific at the farmer’s market. Stopping at the local cheese monger, I grabbed a few soft cheeses made from goats and sheep nearby.
For the sake of satisfying both my personal requirement of local foods, as well as wanting my friends to have a good variety for their own pallets and dietary restrictions, I stopped by the store and picked up a few more things.
While there are many appropriate choices, I found an exceptional paring for the aperitivo to be a Pinot Noir I picked up at a retailer nearby. Smooth and rich, the pinot pairs beautifully with the farm to table cheeses and fruits selected.
All thats left is to arrange your ingredients artfully on a large platter, invited some friends over, and pour a few glasses of wine.
Table of Contents
Seasonal fruits to add in July & August
- Berries (Blueberries, Boysenberries, Mulberries, Raspberries, Strawberries)
- 1 bottle Pinot Noir White wine alternative: Chardonnay
- 2 whole blood oranges Slice into wedges
- 5 oz blackberries
- 1 jar olives mixed
- 8 slices prosciutto
- 8 slices coppa
- 8 slices pancetta
- 8 slices soppressata
- 1 block parmigiano reggiano
- 1 block brie triple cream
- 1 block blue cheese
- 6 oz honey
- 5 oz peanuts spicy
- 1 box crackers almond
- Arrange cheeses, cured meats, and fruits on a large platter.
- Place honey in a separate small dish.
- Include a cheese knife for each block of cheese, and either a spoon or honey comb to dispense honey.
- Serve and enjoy with friends and family!
From traveling to Italy to learn about balsamic vinegar from the source to homesteading in his own backyard, Michael is ever ready to take on new challenges and think about the world from different perspectives.