It’s that time of year! Gorgeous weather is calling us out of doors to enjoy drinks and food with friends. Hosting can be fun, simple and enjoyable. Isn’t that what we all want, anyway?
Forget complicated recipes and over-the-top pristine platings. With a little preparation (and helpful tips below) you can plan a backyard gathering that allows the food to shine and you to enjoy every moment with your guests. Try these five go-to snacks that naturally look and taste great:
1. Cheese and Cured Meats
This simple classic is the perfect party snack. Salty and savory flavors and the richness of the food work together as a time-tested complement to all your favorite drinks. Hard cheeses can be neatly sliced and fanned out in a shingle pattern, while slices of cured meats can easily be folded once and set out similarly for an easy and dazzling plating. Try adding honey, preserves, fresh fruit or olives for another component to round out the selection. Fresh crusty bread, also a must here, can easily be sliced ahead of time and placed in a dish. We recommend our Michelangelo Platter With Removable Handle, which is ideal for laying out thin slices and accoutrements in stunning style.
2. Something Bite-Sized
Finger foods have their own novel charm, not to mention function, for alfresco dining with friends. When you have company relaxing outside, seamless snacking makes it easier to converse and have a great time. That doesn’t mean that you have to stick with pigs in a blanket! Try prosciutto-wrapped figs, bite-size hummus and vegetable wraps or brie- and walnut-filled dates. Popcorn and roasted nuts are also a great option—kernels can be dressed up with a variety of seasonings (Cajun, curry, etc.) and can also be candied (or made as “kettle” corn). Added bonus: all of these items are best made ahead, which means less time in the kitchen and more time sipping on the patio. We recommend our Michelangelo 3-Tier Server for elevating these bites with superb presentation!
3. Something to Dip
Chips and dip are a familiar standard, but feel free to branch out from the bonds of salsa and tortillas. Try exotic vegetable chips with a delectable soft cheese dip. Why not pita chips with a boldly flavored hummus? Plantain chips and mango salsa are an unexpected pleasure, as is warmed naan bread with a creamy Thai curry. Whether it’s baba ganoush or your favorite lavash cracker, this tried-and-true combo makes for easy and convivial snacking. Finding the right serveware can make these simple snacks shine. We recommend our Michelangelo Chip-N-Dip Bowl, with its modern curved design and ideal depth for serving dips and more.
4. A Grain Salad
The magic of a grain salad is that it’s best prepared ahead. Simple ingredients and a great dressing can make something nourishing, delicious and unfussy to eat or serve. Try wild rice, millet, quinoa or a combination of your favorite grains. Not only are these a healthy and filling base for a great salad, they’re also naturally gluten-free (although it’s always best to check for a certification if you have guests with allergies). Grain salads are also a great way to feature anything local or seasonal, and our Michelangelo Serving Bowl is the perfect way to serve your next grain salad.
5. Something Grilled
Whether it’s herbed chicken wings, skewered veggies or fresh lamb lollipops, grilling lets you celebrate the season by cooking outdoors. It’s easy to feature seasonal meats or produce on your patio menu with a simple marinade and some easy grilling. This means less fuss and more fun—plus grilled items are versatile accompaniments and easy to eat in a casual setting. Every grilled item can be complemented with an array of dipping sauces, fresh herbs or finishing salts. We recommend the Michelangelo 3-Section Server for serving your favorite garnishes with your next grilled specialty.
These five easy patio snacks are sure to be a hit with your guests and are a great way to showcase the fine serveware from our Michelangelo Collection. While the gorgeous Michelangelo Serving Bowl is hand wash only, these other fine pieces from the Michelangelo Collection are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Try these ideas—and our stylish serveware—for your next patio gathering!At Luigi Bormioli, we take pride in our Italian-crafted, superior quality glassware. Your glasses, created using our proprietary SON.hyx ultra-clear formula, will retain their brilliant and transparent appearance and are backed by our 25-year guarantee that guards against chipping on the rim or foot, as well as discoloration or cloudiness resulting from washing. You will enjoy their beauty, durability and strength for many years to come. We aim to enhance your tabletop lifestyle and entertaining experience with a glass for every occasion. When the moment matters, the glass matters.