An Ottolenghi inspired dinner party for 12 guests.
I am blogging this from Bali, surrounded by the many wonderful foods and let’s not mention cocktails at sunset. What better time than right now to blog about food! So here goes, my blog on a dinner party for 12, which includes the menu and photos from a recent dinner party held at our table. Hope it inspires you for your next home entertaining.
Starters | Ottolenghi’s Labneh with Olives, Pistachios and Oregano. Search http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk for this recipe. The best thing about this is that you can make the labneh 2 days ahead of your dinner party. You can cut up all the other bits and pieces and store them in small containers, ready to serve on the night. I served this with Lebanese flat breads purchased from the Lebanese shop (I was too lazy to make the yoghurt flat breads from my earlier blog).
Entree | Antipasto Platters and small serving dishes. Again this is a very easy option, because everything can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge. I prepared 2 antipasto plates, one for each end of the table. To accompany this was fresh baguettes and flat breads. Don’t forget the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and those little dishes of other lovely antipasto items such as olives, marinated capsicum, dried fruits and the likes.
Main Meal | Simple Spinach Salad with spinach leaves, roasted tomatoes, purple onion, pinenuts and a great dressing zesty olive oil, lemon and honey dressing. Again you can prepare the dressing ahead of the dinner party and throw together at the last minute.
Ottolenghi’s Roast Potatoes and Jerusalem Artichokes. All Ottolenghi’s recipes can be googled if you cannot find them in one of his cookbooks. This is one of my favourite potato dishes. If you cannot find Jerusalem artichokes you can substitute using water chestnuts which can be purchased in a tin. I have tried both and personally I prefer the tinned water chestnuts because they give a slightly nuttier result. I always make more than is needed. It is a great left-overs dish.
Ottolenghi’s Za’atar Roasted Chicken Breast | another of my favourite dishes because the chicken is packed with flavour. Check with your butcher when purchasing the chicken breast, bone in, skin on, that they can supply medium size breasts. These ones were massive and it felt as if you were eating a full chicken. I would have preferred smaller breasts so that our guests didn’t have to experience a “I feel totally stuffed” kind of moment.
Ottolenghi’s Meringue Roulade with Rose & Morello Cherries. What a surprise, another meringue/pavlova dessert from me! At least I am not rolling out the same one each time, because we are always keen to try out a new pav and meringue recipe! I must say this was delicious! It was more about the meringue and the cream than the actual fruit which was a change to the usual fruity pav. Well so “the other half” said …and he does love his pav! I have had morello cherries in the fridge in the past and never quite knew what to do with them. Now I know!
The photo looks a little like a dogs breakfast, but don’t let that put you off. Hard to prepare and photograph sometimes!