When Neil and I first met we went on a few weekend city breaks. It was lovely no kids, adult conversation awesome food and of course culture. I have always been happy to try out different foods from around the world. Now I very rarely shopped out of my comfort zone though until Neil introduced me to varies delights whilst away.
I will always remember being in Madrid and Neil ordering some what I would describe as tapas nibbles. One of those plates was something similar to a Parma Ham, I had never tasted anything like it before. I was hooked from there on in, I now regularly buy various continental meats. I love to serve them on a platter with crackers and cheese.
When visiting Belgium we visited a lovely restaurant and ordered mozzarella and tomatoes with ham hock. OMG it was divine and this is now something we often try to create at home. My only failing so far is getting the right type of oil to drizzle over the top. Normal Olive Oil just doesn’t cut it. I have since realised I should be using Extra Virgin Oil for drizzles and we love the basil oil we have as it works perfectly with this dish.
I came across this great guide from Jamie’s Italian. It explain exactly what you should use different types of oil for and also tells you how to taste oils correctly.
To make your own platters is really simple, you can get everything from the supermarket if you don’t have any good delicatessen near you.
For Mozzarella and Tomatoes like above you will need either a large mozzarella ball which you tear or slice, or the little gems (this is what we have used above) some good quality tomatoes. We usually go for some good quality vine ripened ones as the flavour is more intense . Salt and pepper and then we drixxle with a good quality Basil Oil (you can use plain extra virgin oil as well). This little starter dish cost around £3.00 to make.
The various meat and cheese along with the mozzarella and tomatoes make great sunny day snacks (and take me back to my city breaks) or perfect party food along with a few cocktails or two. We love doing plates like this on a Saturday when playing in the garden with the kids. They are light and filling at the same time.
Do let us know what food creations you like best on a hot sunny day by commenting below.