Antipasti and other misconceptions

By | August 30, 2011

I always thought “antipasti” meant “everything but the pasta,” as if to be opposed to pasta. I might have known better if I’d gone to culinary school, which I always say I’ll do when I retire. (For what it’s worth, when I asked my husband what he thought it meant, his guess was “some sort of crime-fighting division.”)

The truth is that the name “antipasti” has nothing to do with pasta, neither the presence of it nor a lack of it. As I’ve recently learned with the help of Google and Wikipedia (thanks, guys), antipasti is the traditional first course of a formal Italian meal. It usually includes deli meats, exotic cheeses, olives, and pepperoncini, so yes, it is totally treif. (Unless you use veggie meats, I suppose.)

The version of antipasti that we had last night with focaccia is pretty different from the traditional kind. But what can I say? It was totally my style. After all, it’s basically glorified roasted vegetables.

I used sweet potato, tomato, eggplant, zucchini, and onions. Mushrooms would also have been great, though you’d have to keep an eye on them because they need less roasting time. It’s a flexible dish, so leave in what you like and skip what you don’t (or what you just don’t have in the house).

And don’t worry about having leftovers. It was great for lunch over brown rice.


(tweaked from Enlitened Kosher Cooking)


  • 1 onion, peeled, quartered, and mixed in 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 2 small tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small eggplant, washed and with ends removed
  • 1 small sweet potato, scrubbed well
  • 1 medium zucchini, washed and with ends removed
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • olive oil
  • dried basil, to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C.

2. Slice vegetables and lay flat on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

3. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the vegetables with olive oil, brushing all visible surfaces.

4. Sprinkle garlic, basil, salt, and pepper over the vegetable slices.

4. Roast for 30 minutes. If not done, continue roasting, checking every 5-10 minutes. Roasting time will depend on how thinly you slice your vegetables.

1 Comment

Rivki Locker on August 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm.

What a lovely lunch (or dinner) recipe. And I just love your husband’s understanding of antipasti. Good for a laugh!

PS Regarding your question on my site: I’m not sure about whole wheat in my rugelach recipe, but my guess is that it would work well. I think the earthier, nuttier taste would be a good complement to the cinnamon. Let me know if you try it!


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