Preparing food to bring to a party in the park is not always easy. At least not for me. First you have to decide, are you going to cook on the grills there? Or go with food that can be eaten cold? Then there is the factor of things that can withstand the warm weather and all the prep and transportation. Really for me to have a party at a park, is harder than at home.
Since the party was at 3:00 in the afternoon, I decided I didn't need to have a full meal. But wanted appetizers. But what? Dip? Well my sister made some dip for me and brought that. It is easy and always pleases but I wanted something more impressive. An antipasto platter seemed just the thing. I do an Italian style platter that is a huge hit with spicy marinated mozzarella and tomatoes and basil etc... But I wanted to do something new this time. I decided it should be somewhat Greek or generally Mediterranean in nature.
My platter above has cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes and basil, feta, salami, kalmata olives and drizzling of an olive oil mixed with lemon and fresh oregano.
I also wanted to serve more salamis, some Manchego cheese and more olives and roasted peppers.
I served a bowl of fruit with berries, grapes and pineapple. It looked prettier with out the plastic but the flies this year... The f...in' flies!! So over them.
I digress. I placed a bowl of pita chips and pita bread on the table along with a purchased cilantro jalapeno hummus and my own basic hummus.
2 cans of garbanzo beans (drain and reserve liquid)
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
5 garlic cloves (use more or less based on personal taste)
In a food processor, combine the first 4 ingredients using olive oil and/or reserve bean liquid to thin to the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
As an experiment, I took 1/3 of the hummus and put it back in the processor and tried to add roasted tomatoes and basil. It had a good flavor but was a little too thin and runny. I think it would be best to do this before adding the oil and reserved liquids.
The other sauce/dipper I chose was this Skordalia recipe I read about on Peter's site Kalofagas. I was immediately intrigued. I had never heard of skordalia before but it turns out it is more or less a Greek version of aioli! How perfect given the name of my blog. I do not have a good photo of this (or the hummuses) but let me tell you, it was GOOD!!!! If you don't like garlic, it may not be for you. It really packs a punch and is very very garlicy but that was fine by me and based on how much was eaten, my guests as well! It was great with the pita but I think it would also be wonderful on grilled white fish or chicken. Frankly I could probably put it on anything and love it. Thanks for the referral and recipe, Peter! This is definitely a keeper that I will make again and again.
Our guests seemed to like everything as it was mostly gone by the end of the party. Nothing makes me more pleased that to see everyone eating my food.
I did do one thing to make life easier on myself. I ordered pizza for the kids to be delivered to the park. Some also took fruit and veggies but pizza is always a kid pleaser.
We had a great day. And since most of the food was eaten, clean up and take home wasn't too too bad. Except for all the princess paraphernalia! (Don't you just love that word? So fun.)
Oh wait! You didn't think I would serve all this food without offering a special libation do you? I made a white wine sangria. I didn't really use much of a recipe but threw in some wine, brandy, simple syrup and my secret ingredient tea! I use lemon zinger herbal tea for white wine sangrias and cranberry or some other berry herbal tea for red sangrias. Of course there was a lot of fruit too-- Peaches, green apples, lemons, oranges, limes....
Drink up and enjoy your weekend! Cheers!