ANTIPASTO HOLIDAY WREATH
Be mindful of what you are eating over the holidays.
Recipe for building strong bones by Dr. Claudia Tamas
Make this festive Antipasto holiday wreath as a healthy appetizer loaded with olives, artichoke, marinaded mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs.
The variety of olives in this recipe, just like olive oil, have many health benefits such as good fats, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants which help fight inflammation. Creating your antipasto platter with mostly the vegetables and adding just a few cheese balls and uncured/nitrite free meats is a great ‘no-added sugar’ appetizer. A high intake of sugar prompts a spike in blood sugar along with triggering an increased amount of the stress hormone cortisol. This impedes the body’s ability to heal and repair.
Fresh basil contains vitamin K, manganese, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C and is a good source of calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Fresh parsley contains antioxidants, vitamins A, K, and C. Parsley may also improve blood sugar and support heart, kidney, and bone health.
While the rosemary springs are key to making this look like a wreath, it will most likely not be eaten. Once the antipasto platter is devoured, save the rosemary sprigs for another recipe. Rosemary is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory compounds, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. Rosemary is also considered a cognitive stimulant and can help improve memory quality and performance.
Skewer a variety of the following onto 3–4-inch toothpicks.
- cherry tomatoes
- artichoke hearts
- kalamata olives
- pimento stuffed green olives
- black olives
- marinated mushrooms
- cherry peppers
- Basil leaves, folded or rolled
- Mini mozzarella cheese balls
- small pepperoncini pepper
- Uncured/nitrite free salami or prosciutto, rolled or folded
- fresh rosemary sprigs and/or other herbs for garnish
- fresh chopped parsley
Arrange the skewers on a round platter to resemble a holiday wreath. Garnish with sprigs of rosemary and other green herbs to make it look like a wreath. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.