Wednesday, April 16, 2008


When you're having someone over for dinner on a weeknight, you don't have all day to prepare complicated dishes. I think a great way to entertain in this situation is to fall back on the old-favorite: the Antipasto dish!
Antipasto is all about the choices you make and interesting presentation. There really is no cooking involved (or there doesn't HAVE to be any, but some are more ambitious than others).
HERE'S HOW I ARRANGE MY ANTIPASTO: purchase your favorite cheeses, maybe 2. I always serve baby Mozzarella. Then select some olives--a mix is always nice. Then you can select some sort of vegetables, a favorite is Roasted Peppers, but roasted or marinated Artichoke Hearts are always nice as well. You can always throw in some nuts--I like Walnuts. Set out some nice olive oil & balsalmic vinegar--use your good EVOO. Also essential is good bread, whatever you prefer, toast if it's not fresh. Meats round out the Antipasto nicely--I like to include just one (economical)--last time I chose Chorizo Sausage, and just warmed up the sausage on our Grill Pan while snacking on the rest of the spread. Other popular meats are usually cured meats like Salami, Proscuitto, Sopresatta. And of course, esential to a good antipasto, is the plating & presentation. Living in tiny apartments doesn't afford us the luxury of hainvg specific plates and tableware for the occasional Antipasto night--but just use what you have. You can use a cutting board to display the bread and use teacups to hold the pesto & dips. Speaking of dips these babies are a great way to liven up your spread use: olive tapenade, hummus, baba ganoush, etc. But my favorite is FRESH PESTO! This is how you make it--the hardest part is cleaning up the mess. Oh and invest in a Parmesan/Zester, very useful.


2 handfuls of thoroughly rinsed and thoroughly dried Basil Leaves
2/3 cup of Grated Parm
2/3 cup of Pine Nuts (don't have to be toasted)
1/3 to 2/3 cup of Good EVOO
Dashes of Salt & Pepper

2 cloves of garlic

Juice from Half a Lemon
Zest from Quarter of a Lemon

  • mix together in food processor--serve! mmmmm.

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