Wedding Shower Dilemma: light, healthy app
So here's the dilemma. My very good friend's wedding shower is in two weeks. Her mother has inspired me to coin the phrase "mother of the bridezilla." My role in the planning has been relegated to nodding and smilling, and agreeing completely with all her plans. Oh, and helping to pay. And bringing a dessert and an appetizer.
Hey, it's for one of my oldest friends, and life's too short, right?
Anyway, despite the fact that it will likely be over 90 degrees, her mom decided it would be best to get the shower catered by a local, decidedly non-chowish italian take out place. We're getting pans of lasanga and baked ziti, with sides of garlic bread and the house ceaser salad.
I already decided on a dessert: a frozen margarita pie I plan to throw together from a bunch of recipes I've found. I struggled with whether I should try and make something that fits with the rest of the menu, but margaritas are sort of a thing with my friend and I and I think she'll get a kick out of it. The chowhound in me has given way to the joy of an inside joke.
But I am drawing a complete blank on what appetizer/snacky food to bring. Since everything else is going to be so carb and cheese heavy, I'd like to bring something light and veggie centric. I'd also like it to go, somewhat, with the italian theme. But I also don't want to bring a boring crudite tray. Any ideas? Also, the choice for the main menu leads me to think this won't be the most adventurous group of eaters ... Help!
Go for a big antipasti platter of grilled veggies and olives, with a bit of cheese and meat for decoration. Healthy and pretty. Here is one of my favorites: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip..., but lots of recipes on Food TV and other sites. My only recommendation is cut the pieces (after grilling) to bite size.
I totally agree with the antipasti advice. Include artichoke hearts, giardiniera, roasted peppers, cubanelle and/or banana peppers, cannelini beans with roasted tomatoes and rosemary, grapes with walnuts and blue cheese, and so on. Such a platter has the potential to be the best part of the meal, and antipasti is one of my favorite summer treats. I like to make a whole meal out of it with bread and wine.
Lasagna and baked ziti in 90º heat? Wow. Do a light, summery bruschetta (assemble when you arrive at the party, if possible, so it doesn't get soggy). With summer tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and good olive oil, it should be quite tasty.
I just returned from a party and would modify an appetizer I had there for your light and healthy offering: do slices of baguette topped with slices of mozzarella, a small basil leaf and a slice of grape or cherry tomato (you might want to drain the tomatoes so things don't get soggy). It is in keeping with the other Italian food but tastes fresh and isn't too filling.
God, Jilll, this sounds bad! I'll dig into my cookbooks and see if I can find something that would help.
You must have been listening to Dr. Joy Browne . . ."cheerful and stupid." Try to have fun! Sure you don't want to consider an easier dessert with an Italian theme that is more chow-ish? Something light? Marscapone cheese and berries with some lemon zest? Or fresh figs and ricotta? Or cantalope and creme de cassis? Just a thought.
Someone on CH recently recommended a very nice quick healthy and tasty appetizer that I used a few days ago. Grape tomatoes, tiny mozzarella balls, and basil leaf on a pick.
I also took the mozzarella balls put them into a bowl (drain the water off) and the made a dressing of balsamic, basil, olive oil sea salt, and red pepper flakes. Put beautiful bunches of green and red grapes and cucumbers around the plate and everyone really loved it.
The other thing I've done, is using good Italian tuna make a salad with some veggies (no mayo) use red wine vinegar, and onions basil or parsley salt pepper, olives, and then place soft lettuce leaves or radicchio leaves for a small scoopfull to eat.
Ditto with the antipasto platter.
Bonus: You have to only grill a few components, others can be purchased.
I do love a crudite presented in tall glasses and done really beautifully (add fennel slices, grape tomatoes, etc) and have a traditional Italian dip. (pinsimonio).