An antipasto platter is always a great part of a buffet when entertaining a crowd. Typically they would feature prosciutto, salami, ham, mortadella and the like, but this is a good vegetable alternative. You can make each element in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve (store each part in a separate container). Mine consisted of
Eggplant (2 large) and Zucchini (3 large) – slice with a mandolin, I used a 7mm slice, then spray with olive oil spray and grill on a griddle pan, bbq, or in my case, I used my trusty George Foreman. Once cooked, season with salt, and add some olive oil
Mushrooms (4 large flat) – cut into pieces, place in a bowl, add a few sprigs of thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil and combine. Then place on a lined baking tray in an 180 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until cooked
Fennel (4 baby) – cut each fennel into 8 wedges, place in a bowl, add salt, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil and combine. Then place on a lined baking tray in an 180 degree oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until tender
Capsicum (2 red and 2 green) – place under grill until charred, turning as needed until completely charred. Allow to cool slightly, then peel away charred skin and remove seeds and cut into strips. Season with salt and add olive oil.
Ricotta – spray a baby springform cake tin with olive oil, and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper (do not put on the bottom of the tin). Fill the tin with 500g ricotta, smooth the top with a knife, spray the top with a little olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper, and if you have any some dried oregano flakes. Bake in a 200 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven then allow to cool in tin, remove from tin and refrigerate until required.
Place all the elements on a platter and garnish with basil.
You could also add some grilled asparagus, bocconcini, and sun dried tomatoes.