Sunday, July 17, 2011

Italian style dinner on the deck

So far this has been a horrible Summer in Vancouver, we have had far more than our share of rain and the temperatures have been way below normal.  So when Saturday was forecast to be warm and sunny we decided we should celebrate by having the neighborhood over for a dinner on the deck.

Having so recently returned from Italy I decided to make some of the food that we had there, but I did not want to waste the whole day in the kitchen as it was a beautiful day, so I kept it simple.

To start I made a antipasto platter.

I roasted some peppers and eggplant and served them with an assortment of Italian meats and a delicious fresh mozzarella.  This was just like the antipasto platters that we had put together in Florence at our Apartment

For the main course I made pizza using the foccacia bread recipe I made  the sauce by warming 3 garlic cloves that I sliced very thinly in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil until they were just golden.  Then I added a can of crushed tomatoes a handful of fresh basil chopped and 1/4 cup of red wine.  I let this simmer while the dough was rising and concentrate down.  I used this sauce on all the pizza's but three different toppings. One with Italian sausage, my home made sun dried tomatoes and boccocini

Italian sausage and boccocini
Then Over it all I sprinkled Parmesan.

Close up of the pizza with roasted eggplant and sun dried tomatoes ready for the oven

 I made two other pizza's with roasted peppers on one and eggplant on the other.

When they all came out of the oven I cut them up and served on a couple of large platters.

Pizza ready for its close up
Friends brought a wonderful salmon in filo pastry to go along with the pizza.

Another friend brought a salad with broccoli and cauliflower which unfortunately I did not take a picture of, but it was delicious and it had bacon on top, who doesn't love a salad with bacon on it.

I made a salad with tomato cucumber red onion and boccocini mint and basil

A sort of Italian Greek salad
I just tossed everything with olive oil and white wine vinegar.

We finished the whole meal off with cake which another friend brought, and since one of our friends recently very quietly turned 50, we made it into a birthday cake.

My pizza could have been crisper, I was trying to rush things, but never mind we had a wonderful evening on the deck, as the night got cooler we turned on the heater and started up a fire in the fire pit, so we were able to stay out until midnight.  I love Summer and I do hope this one starts to get better, but at least in between all the horrible cool wet weather we get glimpses of what summer should be like.

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