Tonight's dinner is my all time favourite meal as if you didn't know...hardly any cooking is required as most ingredients are bought fresh and all home-made ingredients, with the bread being the exception, are prepared way ahead of time.
This is not an expensive meal as it is shared between many-it is the best meal to have with friends when you do not want to cook on the night and want to chill out with a glass of wine and chat whilst eating over several hours.
To give you an idea of prices, 30 slices of chorizo costs around £1, a large tub of olives between £1-£3, mozarella £1 with the cheese platter being the most expensive but a little goes a long way. There is a wonderful cheese shop in Glasgow called Mellis however, for all I love their cheeses, they need to be eaten almost immediately as oh are they ripe!
This is a lot of food and no matter how many people I have round, there is always some left to snack on for lunches, picnics or even another dinner.
Ah, antipasti...the simple tomato, transformed with a little sea salt, black pepper, fresh basil, garlic oil and fresh mozarella. Thin slices of parmegiano regano. A plate filled with charcuterie: prosciutto, salami and chorizo. Fresh rocket with an olive oil, honey, herb and balsamic vinegar dressing. Freshly baked bread. Olive oil, drizzled with thick, aged balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with sea salt for dipping. Olives; fat, green, Queen olives with whole garlic cloves, little Spanish ones marinaded in lemon oil, glistening, Greek black olives with herbs. Sun-dried tomatoes and roasted peppers.
Then, a round of Camembert, grapes, crackers and Brie. A Dunsyre Blue and a strong cheddar. Homemade chutney and tomato chilli relish alongside caremalised onions.
It doesn't get any better than this.