I just can't kick this hostess habit. At first I was just a "social" hostess, inviting people over to celebrate a birthday, a holiday, or the season finale of Lost. But it's been getting bad lately. Not Lost, my habit. I'm inviting people over left and right, creating reasons to get a group together. You lost your cat? Let's throw a party! Got a cute shirt on sale? Cocktails at my place! My main problem is that once I've invited people over, I'm left with the task of feeding and inebriating all of them, which when you're doing this on a bi-weekly basis, can become a bit much. But luckily, I found an enabler, and he goes by the name of Bay Cities. I've mentioned Bay Cities before, as it's where I fill almost all of my charcuterie and Italian cuisine needs, but this was a moment of Eureka. When I was drunk in the gutter, Bay Cities pulled me up and bought me another drink. You see, it dawned on me that if the ingredients are good enough, they don't need to be gilded. Marcona almonds, delicate prosciutto, sun ripened figs: God and the Italians did all of the work. So I give you my favorite party platter. It pleases everybody and hits every tastebud on your palette. I serve the nibbles with a fresh Italian loaf, olive oil, balsamic, and some salt and pepper. Let everyone else have fun building a meal. Enjoy!
Marcona Almonds and Roman Hazelnuts. It's like the flavor had it's volume dial turned up.
Castel Verano Olives are the only olives I eat, mostly because I'm a brine whimp. But these olives not only have a gorgeous grass-green hue, but have a pure olive oil taste. Mildly salty, but full of flavor. Yum!
Figs are just so beautiful, especially when at they're at their peak of ripeness. If figs are out of season, pick another fruit at its peak, such as dates, oranges, whatever the market is providing that week.