Last Minute Magnificence

Last Minute Magnificence


Yield : It's up to you.

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Let's say you wake up on a Saturday morning, think about how busy you and your friends have been lately, and decide to have a party that night.  (Hopefully your friends are as plan-less as you are on a Saturday night.)  So, you invite as many people over as you like, and then you go to the grocery store.  We like to do this party with an Italian theme, and, most importantly, there is very little cooking involved.

The menu

Cheese and crackers.  Get 4 different cheeses.  In keeping with the theme, try a young Gorgonzola, Fontina, Robiola (or a triple cream Brie if you can't find it), and either burrata or fresh ricotta.  Also get several different types of crackers, but make sure that they don't have a strong flavor which could clash with the cheese.  And slice a baguette or two; grill half and leave half as is.

Charcuterie.  Definitely prosciutto, then pick a few different types of salami (include one beef if any of your guests don't eat pork.)  Our favorite prosciutto is not made in Italy; it is La Quercia, made in the US from humanely-raised pigs.  Most grocery stores carry it.  And some kind of paté.

And.  Grapes, a few dips (maybe hummus and spinach artichoke), a roasted bell pepper salad, olives, good mustard (preferably our homemade hot mustard and a whole grain variety), and cornichons (not Italian, but where there is paté, there are cornichons.)

What to Drink :

Lambrusco (to those of you old enough to remember the '70's, no, we're not kidding), Asti, Barbera, dry rosé, and, for beer drinkers, an IPA.


This party is very casual-- just a group of people sitting around a table, inside or outside, eating good food.  Put two of the Natural Burlap Table Runners across the table.  Serve the cheese on the Sophie Stitch Red Cheese Plate, put the crackers in a basket of some sort lined with the Sarah Red Tea Towel, and use the Three Dish Serving Board for the bread with the dips and some good olive oil.  The olives and cornichons can be served in the Wooden Dip Plate, the mustards in the Wooden Condiment Holder, the grapes in the Pillivuyt Classic Footed Bowl, and the roasted pepper salad on the Pillivuyt Rectangular Platter.  Finally, arrange the charcuterie on the Marieke Rectangular Wooden Plate.

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