VEGETABLE ANTIPASTO PLATTER

For my mum’s birthday a couple of months ago, Clive and I said we’d take care of the food, and we made a few huge grazing boards for the 60+ guests (I mean the number of guests, not their age!). We made a few cheese boards, dried meat boards, and a huge grilled vegetable platter with a selection of dips. Much to our surprise, the vegetables were the first to go, and it just made me think that so many times at parties there just isn’t a tasty healthy option.

People loved these grilled veggies so much that I thought I’d share the recipe on here for anyone hosting this Christmas looking for a vegan sharing platter to make ahead of time. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a replacement for a cheese or charcutérie board (nothing beats a good cheese board), but I really loved the combination of the roasted garlic hummus with the grilled vegetables.

Preparing grilled vegetables like this does require a bit of prep time, but it’s well worth it, and can easily be made the day before.

Here’s what you need to make your own vegan antipasto platter:

Ingredients for the grilled antipasto veggies:

  • 300ml olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (dried works too if you don’t have any fresh)
  • 2 courgettes
  • 2 aubergines
  • 3 red peppers
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Olives

Ingredients for the roasted garlic and butter bean hummus:

  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 x 400g tin butter beans
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Chilli flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Splash warm water

Instructions:

  • To prepare the garlic, use a sharp knife to cut off the top 0.5-1 cm off from the garlic head (skin on) to just reveal the garlic cloves. Wrap in aluminium foil with a drizzle of olive oil. The garlic will go in the oven with the peppers.
  • To cook the red pepper, preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the peppers in half and remove the stems, seeds and membranes. Place cut-side down on a baking tray and bake oil-free for 40 minutes until the skin is dark in patches. Put the garlic in the oven on a separate tray for the same amount of time. When cool enough to handle, peel off the pepper skins.
  • Prepare the aubergine and courgette by finely slicing them using a mandolin. Mix the olive oil, chopped thyme, salt and pepper together in a bowl. You can cook the vegetables on the barbecue, a plancha or in various griddle pans. Prepare a clean dish covered with cling film for the cooked vegetables to go into to keep cooking once grilled. When your plancha or barbecue is hot, brush the sliced vegetables with the olive oil mix and cook on a medium heat until cooked through and coloured. Do not layer the vegetables. Move off the plancha and place into the dish and cover with cling film. This is important to make sure the aubergine particularly continues to cook and soften. Leave to cool in the fridge.
  • To make the hummus, squeeze out the garlic cloves from their skins into your food processor. Add all of the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Serve on a large platter with the hummus in the middle adding extra olive oil and chilli flakes to garnish. Surround the hummus with the grilled vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Serve with bread, good quality olive oil and fleur de sel.

Tips & tricks:

  • If you are cooking this for the festive season and have a barbecue, I would wrap up warm and do it outside so you’re out of the way and can make a mess without bothering anyone else in the kitchen.
  • The vegetables can be served cool or at room temperature, although I would make sure they aren’t just coming out of the fridge when people tuck in.
  • Play around with your favourite vegetables and mix things up. We made the platters towards the end of September, but more seasonal vegetable like butternut squash and pumpkin would work nicely too.

What’s on your veggie grazing board? Are you hosting this Christmas/New Year and on the look out for a healthy option for any guests with tricky dietary requirements? If so, this one’s for you!

Happy grilling :) xS

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