Entertaining a Crowd
Set a theme
Pick a colour scheme and run with it. Even if nothing else is matching or well-decorated, a colour theme can pull everything together. Try choosing one or two colours for the food table, as this really helps set the theme.
Fun containers make all the difference
Fun fact: it feels 100% percent more fun to eat out of a pretty container than off a standard plate.
Use mason jars for salads or desserts, cupcake papers for individual servings of items like meatballs, other kitchenware items such as tin cans for presenting nuts or snacks; or small glasses for individual servings of dip and vegetable sticks (this saves double dipping!).
Celebrate with small plates
Forget the sit-down dinner or huddling around a single buffet table and opt for recipes that you can make ahead and serve in small plates. Tapas offerings include homemade dishes served in small plates, but they can also feature something as simple as a plate of nuts.
Call it tapas, antipasti, mezze or just plain old appetizers, a spread of small bites is the perfect way to eat and entertain throughout the summer. For one thing, you can make the dishes ahead of time. Even better, tapas are often served at room temperature, to be consumed at leisure. So relax, join your guests, and enjoy the Mediterranean charm of tapas.
Assembling a tapas platter
Consider assembling a platter of delectable ready-to-eat foods and mix this up with a couple of homemade recipes, such as Fig Chutney & Herbed nuts, this will save you time and still satisfy and impress guests.
Good things to include are:
- You can’t go wrong with roasted nuts – a few separate varieties, such as Alison’s Pantry Tamari Almonds or a mixture like Alison Pantry’s Roast Salted Supreme Nuts.
- Provide an assortment of cured meats, such as salami, prosciutto or ham, salami and chorizo.
- Olives and gherkins add a tasty contrast, and grapes add freshness
- Include a selection of cheeses. As with any cheese board, present a variety that range from soft to hard textures and from mild to strong flavours.
- Bread sticks or crackers, and sliced French bread are great bases for meat or cheese.
- Alison’s Pantry snacks such as Murukku or Honey & Dijon Snippets work really well as part of a platter too.