Friday 25 May 2018

Share the Love - recipes for tasty platter and small bites

Entertaining at home doesn't have to mean hours in the kitchen, says Kathy Kordalis, whose new book is filled with tasty platters and small bites

Antipasti platter
Antipasti platter
Fava Dip
Party Food to Share by Kathy Kordalis is published by Ryland Peters & Small. Photography is by Mowie Kay.

Kathy Kordalis's latest book is a collection of menus and recipes which play to the concept of fuss-free entertaining.

"The main purpose of getting together is to spend time together - it's pointless if your guests do not see you," says Kathy, whose book has lots of practical tips on what to buy in and what to make from scratch.

Antipasti literally means 'before the meal' - a combination of small bites of tasty food, usually accompanied by wine and meant to stimulate the appetite before digging into the main meal.

An antipasti plate will bring a relaxed spirit and friendly, casual conversation to your meal. No matter what the occasion, serving antipasti is the perfect way to slow things down and savour great food.

Here are a few tips:

• Keep the antipasti simple so you don't crowd out the main meal.

• Antipasti should complement the meal you're planning, no matter how modest or lavish. In the

case of, say, a pizza main course, which is very bread-based, keep the bread that you serve with the antipasti to a thin crispbread.

• It can be a combination of bought and home-made items; always offer vegetarian options.

Buy-in suggestions:

• Three types of cured meat

• Mozzarella balls with some lemon zest and olive oil

• Marinated artichokes

• Pickled peppers

• Black and green olives

• Fresh figs

• Marcona almonds or any type of roasted nut

• Pane carasau bread or another crispbread

Antipasti platter

This salad is so adaptable - it can easily become a hearty salad with the addition of sautéed chorizo and rocket/arugula. It's equally as nice in its simplicity with the sharp dressing and parsley.

Serves 6 as an appetiser

Ingredients

400g/14oz can cannellini beans

2 shallots, finely chopped

½ tbsp sherry vinegar

Juice of ½ lemon

4 tbsp olive oil

Handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Drain the cannellini beans and then set aside. Place all of the other ingredients in a serving bowl and whisk.

Add the beans and serve.

Cannellini bean salad

Kale & pecorino pesto

A twist on the classic, with the addition of kale and Pecorino. Good with a roasted vegetable salad and as part of a starter.

Makes 1 jar

Ingredients

80g pine nuts

25g freshly chopped basil

25g flat-leaf parsley

50g kale, stems removed

2 garlic cloves

60g grated Pecorino cheese

140ml cup extra-virgin olive oil

Grated zest and juice of ½ lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Heat a small frying pan/skillet over a low heat. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden, shaking occasionally.

Put into a food processor with the basil, flat-leaf parsley, kale, garlic, Pecorino and olive oil.

Process until smooth, season and stir through the lemon zest and juice.

Any leftover pesto can be stored in a sterilised jar, topped with olive oil, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Roasted mini Aubergines

A very simple addition to an antipasti platter.

Serves 6 as an appetiser

Ingredients

350g/6 or 7 mini aubergines/eggplants, sliced in half

2 tbsp olive oil

Handful of basil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

You will need: Baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F) Gas 4.

Place the aubergines/eggplants on the prepared baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven or until crisp and golden.

Place into a bowl, top with basil and serve.

Santorini fava with griddled radicchio & little gem lettuce wedges

2017-12-02_lif_36468815_I2.JPG
Fava Dip
 

This recipe is a great all-rounder. I first ate it in Santorini, where it is served as part of a mezze, but then discovered that it is eaten all over Greece as a humble meal. You can make a batch of this and serve it as a dip, and then later in the week as a midweek meal. It absorbs a lot of moisture, so add some liquid if reheating it. I like to finish it with lots of herbs, a dollop of yoghurt and a good glug of chilli oil.

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

3 Little Gem lettuces, halved

2 radicchio, halved

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ red onion, thinly sliced, to serve

2 tbsp capers, drained, to serve

Crusty bread, to serve

For the Santorini fava:

250g yellow split peas

3 tbsp olive oil (1 tbsp reserved for finishing)

1 red onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

5 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked

3 sprigs of oregano, leaves picked

1 tsp tomato paste or sun-dried tomato paste

2 bay leaves

600ml warm vegetable stock

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

½ tsp paprika

Pinch of chilli/red pepper flakes

Method

To make the fava, rinse the split peas in plenty of water. Heat a large saucepan over a medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp of the olive oil, the chopped onion, garlic, thyme and oregano, and sauté.

As soon as the onions start to caramelise, add the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, then add the split peas and bay leaves and stir. Pour in the warm stock, turn the heat down to medium and season well with salt and pepper.

Simmer with the lid on for 40–50 minutes until the split peas are thick and mushy. While the split peas are boiling, white foam will probably surface on the water — remove this with a slotted spoon.

Meanwhile, for the griddled vegetables, heat up a griddle/grill pan and lightly brush with olive oil. Season the lettuce and radicchio with salt and pepper, and griddle on each side until slightly charred and soft but still with bite.

Pour the lemon juice into the pan of split peas, add the paprika and chilli/red pepper flakes and transfer the mixture into a food processor, or alternatively, if you prefer a coarser texture, don’t process. Mix until the peas become smooth and creamy, like a purée.

Serve the fava with the remaining olive oil drizzled over the top, and with the griddled vegetables, sliced onions, capers and crusty bread.

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