Since we are on the topic of hosting I thought I’d share some thoughts about food.  As you know I love cooking and feel completely at home in the kitchen.  There’s something therapeutic to it all.  So when it comes to small little gatherings, like having some friends over for dinner, it is there you will find me. Usually a bit overwhelmed seeing I’m trying a new recipe that consists of 28 ingredients (9 of which I’ve never even heard of before) but fully enjoying the process.

As for this post I’m referring to a different level of hosting…the kind where you invite two couples over and somehow the word went viral and suddenly 12 unexpected guests show up on your doorstep.  So with that said, I usually resort to one of three options when it comes to planning for a gathering like such.

  1. Serve dishes that can be prepared ahead of time (excluding something that can be thrown on the BBQ).  For example, this crudité platter to start, and some small sides like a cauliflower salad, roasted smashed potatoes finished ahead and holding their temperature in a warmish oven, or a fresh seasonal salad with a simple dressing.  You can check out our pinterest for a slew of other great ideas.
  2. Potluck, which is one of my favorite ways to gain inspiration  from friends with savvy, healthy, simple dishes.
  3. Pizza, which in all honesty tends to be my favorite go-to as the expectations are low, everyone (kids and adults alike) leave happy and full, and clean up is a breeze.

Either way, all options eliminate the idea of you having to slave away in the kitchen so that you can kick back and actually participate in the fun.

Choose veggies that are bright, seasonal and of course crunchy.  The farmers market is always a good place to source vegetables like so.  When ensembling something like this, the key is “don’t overthink it”.  The vibrant colors and unique textures will work beautifully together without much work on your part.  Begin with the largest item first (in this case I started with the asparagus) and continue to layer from there.  Finish with a handful of salty greek olives and a generous amount of loose Italian parsley.  It’s also nice to place a small ramekin of nuts on the crudite platter to give some added texture and variation in color.

The Kopanisti (aka yummy feta + roasted red pepper dip) recipe found here...