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First course for cioppino?

jeveuxtemanger Apr 16, 2007 01:02 PM

If a fabulously rich and flavorful, red wine-enriched cioppino is your main course, what would you serve as a first course for a casual (yet hopefully somewhat elegant) dinner party?

  1. n
    normalheightsfoodie Apr 17, 2007 10:12 AM

    I believe in this case, less is more. The highlight is the cioppino.
    I would say a salad.

    The Pear and Fennel sounds good. You will already have a fish based dinner, Caeser would be repetitive.

    1. r
      ricepad Apr 17, 2007 10:09 AM

      I like the previously mentioned Caesar salad and sourdough, but I'm having a hard time imagining a somewhat elegant dinner party that features cioppino. Every time I've had cioppino, it's been a 'roll up your sleeves and get messy' affair. That's part of the fun!

      1. m
        mpalmer6c Apr 16, 2007 10:58 PM

        Sourdough french bread. Nothing more.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mpalmer6c
          Emme Apr 16, 2007 11:53 PM

          This sounds good.

          Otherwise, perhaps a few little bruschetta rounds.

          Or, an artichoke heart and hearts of palm salad with a light vinegarette.

        2. TonyO Apr 16, 2007 08:21 PM

          Baby Arugula dressed with olive oil, sea salt, and shaved parmesan. Need to save room for the main event !

          1. waver Apr 16, 2007 08:18 PM

            Thinly sliced fennel and celery with orange segments and herbs. Use the leftover orange juice in the vinagrette.

            1. Sam Fujisaka Apr 16, 2007 03:54 PM

              Very light red onion, pear and arugula salad with a bit of red wine vinegar-oil-salt-pepper-touch of honey dressing. Dress the feather cut onions ahead of time; add pears and arugula immediately prior to serving. Light and simple is key because of the heavy complexity of the cioppino.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                susancinsf Apr 17, 2007 09:41 AM

                This is basically what I generally do. I might add a bit of Humboldt Fog cheese (crumbled) if the group are big eaters....

                1. re: susancinsf
                  Sam Fujisaka Apr 17, 2007 10:08 AM

                  Actually, right! I forgot some shavings of Parm-Reg or Pecorino.

              2. e
                emilief Apr 16, 2007 03:34 PM

                Ceasar salad.

                1. farmersdaughter Apr 16, 2007 03:26 PM

                  Something earthy but not too heavy, perhaps mushroom crostini?

                  1. c
                    cocktailhour Apr 16, 2007 02:15 PM

                    fennel tart.

                    1. deliciousnyc Apr 16, 2007 02:12 PM

                      we make this every year as part of our christmas eve fishes dinner and usually its preceded by a very simple spaghetti aglio e olio but with added anchovies into the pan....also - make sure to make extra cioppino - the leftovers are amazing over some pasta....

                      1. hotoynoodle Apr 16, 2007 01:22 PM

                        asparagus with hard-cooked egg shredded on top
                        garlic flans
                        stuffed mushroom caps
                        simple plate of olives, nuts, artichoke hearts and a few slivers of prosciutto
                        very small portion of angel hair pasta finished with lots of lemon and slivered mint
                        fried stuffed olives
                        endive spears with couscous salad
                        roasted yellow peppers with parsley, almonds and preserved lemon

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