Whole Foods Market makes entertaining easy so if you are planning a red carpet get together with friends to watch the Oscars on February 28, Whole Foods Market can help you make an award winning spread.
My favorite dishes to make when hosting an event with friends is an elegant charcuterie board and caprese salad with crostini toasts. These are finger friendly dishes that allow guest to mingle and visit while enjoying a selection of cured meats, cheeses and complimenting foods.
Charcuterie boards are elegant looking and easy to customize using your favorite cured meats and cheeses. Whole Foods Market has a wide variety of cheese from all over the world and natural cured meats that are free from antibiotics, nitrates and MSG.
The in-house relish bar is has a wide variety of olives and pickled items to amp up the flavor of the board.
I will admit I really do not measure anything. So the recipes below are not really recipes but more of ideas of what I use to put things together. I usually just guesstimate on the amount I need for the crowd.
Slice plum tomatoes into 1/4″ slices. Slice fresh mozzarella into 1/4″ slices. Rinse fresh basil and pluck leaves from stem. On a serving platter, layer a slice of the fresh mozzarella a basil leaf and then tomato. Follow this pattern until tray is filled to your liking. I sometimes drizzle a balsamic glaze over the top. This can be made by reducing balsamic vinegar in a pan on the stove top or there are companies that make it and it can be found in the isle with vinegars and dressing at the grocery store.
Assorted cured meats of choice
Assorted cheeses of choice
Assorted olives or pickled vegetables
Grapes or apple slices
This can be arranged however you like. Sometimes I will use platters and serving dishes as pictured. I also have a large wood cutting board that I will sometimes arrange the ingredients on.
Below are some tips and recipes from Whole Foods Market that you can use to put together a red carpet worthy spread while not breaking the bank! I wish to thank Whole Foods Market for supplying me a gift card to purchase the ingredients.
BLOCKBUSTER ENTERTAINING ON AN INDIE BUDGET
Awards season is even better when you can throw a blockbuster party on an indie budget. Here are a few insider tips from Whole Foods Market experts for a budget-friendly, buzzworthy viewing party:
• Think like craft service –Not only is it easier and more fun to graze on small bites throughout the show, but swapping an entrée for heavy appetizers can save a few bucks. Let Whole Foods Market’s prepared foods team do the cooking with Sriracha chicken wontons or wings. Our meat department also has ready-to-cook, crowd-pleasing meatballs from Nature’s Rancher, raised with no added growth hormones and no antibiotics, ever.
• Have one big star – Just like a red carpet, if your buffet has one big star, the whole scene feels fancy. There’s no bigger star than the King of Cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano. This very special Italian cheese is known for its intensely complex, nutty, sweet, grassy, creamy flavor. Whole Foods Market only offers Parm that’s been aged a full 24 months, which means this bold flavor will steal the show in the best way.
• Keep them entertained – When the show lulls, have an activity to keep things lively, like a blind wine tasting. This is a fun exercise for novice and expert wine drinkers alike, and Whole Foods Market’s Criterion wines make it easy to do. This collection is intended to be classic, benchmark examples of wine styles from important wine regions around the world. Simply choose 3 varietals from Criterion’s roster to serve as the standard, and pair it against a popular bottle of the same variety (for a total of 6 bottles). Cover them both with paper bags and have guests compare. For extra points, create an awards ballot of your own to choose a winning wine.
• Best actor goes to citrus! – Vibrant, sweet and tangy citrus is a true chameleon when it comes to entertaining. Abundant bowls of clementines serves as a centerpiece and a snack or dessert, so no need to spend extra on flowers. Citrus also makes water a party-worthy beverage. Slice rings to put in a clear drink dispenser, or add small slices and wedges to individual glasses. Skip the fancy sparkling waters or juices with this seasonal star.