For those of us in Canada this Victoria day long weekend marks the beginning of gardening season, summer fun and grilling. Though my husband and I enjoy burgers only once in a while, our flavourful meals are usually inspired by one of the many trips to Europe. Today is no different since we’re in the midst of planning another exciting adventure to Italy, back to the Amalfi Coast through Tuscany and all the way up to Lake Garda. This country we’ve visited several times in the last few years and can’t help being drawn back again and again. The local Italian culinary experiences always find themselves back to our kitchen, and have become part of our daily life.
Today’s feast was inspired by a taste of Rome. This particular platter we first enjoyed in a local Roman restaurant across the street from the Colosseum after a long day of exploring the city. As we sat down in this delectable restaurant for a meal, but quite unable to decide what to have, the very polite and helpful staff created this sampling platter. It was very generous portioned, simple yet abundantly flavourful meal. There was no way we were leaving a bite.
Quite easy to recreate any day of the week.
Here’s what it consists of:
Prosciutto wrapped melon
Caprese salad – sliced fresh mozzarella and sliced fresh tomatoes.
Grilled Vegetables (asparagus, eggplant, zucchini etc.) with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic
A selection of black and green olives
Selection of hard cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano.
Italian bread or flat bread
Bruschetta (diced tomatoes with garlic, basil and olive oil)
Be sure to select a top grade of olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. I go the extra mile to get the finest and tastiest at a great olive oil dispensary in Milton – Casa Toscana. They offer high quality of olive oil from mild to peppery, and aged Balsamic vinegar from 1 year to 9-year-old. My favourite is the peppery olive oil because it has the most pronounces olive flavour, and the Sorrento lemon infused olive oil, as well as the 3-year-old Balsamic, though the 5-year-old is amazing as well. The 9-year-old I’d use only as desserts on Strawberries thanks to a helpful hint. Delicious.
You can select any or all of the above or add your own favourites. This platter is great as an appetizer for your guests or a meal for two with a nice bottle of wine. Any way you decided to celebrate the long weekend, enjoy every minute.
Categories: Nibbles & Bites