Al Fresco Platter
It was one of those days where we just could not be bothered with cooking, despite having all day to do so. While we are big fans of autumn, we were not ready to say ‘goodbye’ to summer despite Brighton’s grey day coaxing us along. Taking inspiration from our recent trip to northern Italy, we decided to create a culinary memento of our holiday.
What I love about Italian food is that it does not try too hard. While pizza is too amazing for words, some of the best dishes like caprese salad rely on a few raw ingredients which are rich in flavour. Italians do not cut corners on the quality of ingredients.
This was easily the simplest thing I have thrown together. Yet the ratio of effort to a smug ‘look what I made for dinner’ is in favour of the latter. I think I am onto a winner.
Introducing the ‘Al Fresco’ Platter.
The most time consuming part of this dish’s creation was choosing our ingredients. I can deal with that pretty easily. We were fairly hungry, so we started off by making sure we had plenty of cold meats - prosciutto, salami and parma ham. We also added some fried chorizo, which we cooked in its own fat on a high heat. Then we threw in some proper buffalo mozzarella, drizzling it with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper.
Next up were artichoke hearts in brine, black and green olives tossed with some oil and oregano, and ripe vine cherry tomatoes, served halved and whole.
A pot of store-bought pesto was added, with some extra pine nuts thrown in. We sliced some red onion thinly, and scattered this across the dish along with some watercress leaves. Lastly, for a bit of kick, we added some magenta radishes and a variety of scotch bonnet peppers to the edges. We applied a generous drizzle of good quality olive oil, a crack of fresh pepper and a sprinkling of sea salt. A dusting of chopped fresh chives finished it off.
Serve it up on your favourite chopping board or platter, and crisp bottle of rosé. Bellissimo.
Spent summer in Greece, not Italy? Go for a combination using figs, feta, walnuts and a drizzle of honey as a base. This dish is so easy, you cannot go wrong.
With Love, Kate