Continuing to build the entertaining repertoire. Amy and I fed the Elders and some friends a few days ago. She wanted Italian, and we both wanted to create a menu that, though plentiful, would create the impression of lightness and coolness. We didn't want anyone sweating over soup or slogging down fettucine alfredo-- our house can get quite warm and muggy on summer nights, especially when it's full of people, which it so often is. Amy made some turkey-vegetable skewers, and I made a dish I remembered eating at restaurants, a bruschetta (toast) topped with a cut caprese (tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad). I thought it turned out quite tasty and sophisticated, and it got eaten quickly. For dessert I made the lemon curd and berry pavlova that I made for Mother's Day, and people seemed to really enjoy the looks and flavor of that too.
Brushcetta alla Caprese
somewhere around 2 c chopped (into 1/2 inch dice) well-flavored roma tomatoes
about 8 oz fresh mozzarella (not low-moisture pizza cheese), in 1/2 inch dice
a handful of fresh basil, shredded with scissors
1 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Blend topping ingredients and season to taste. Refrigerate about 2 hours. Before serving, drain of excess moisture.
a long, thinnish crusty Italian-style white loaf, cut into 1/2 inch slices
garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half, as needed
extra-virgin olive oil
Broil the bread until it is crisp on both sides. Rub one side of each piece of toast with cut garlic. Sprinkle with olive oil. I think guests should be allowed to spoon on their own caprese topping, so that the toasts don't get soggy.