Appetizers, or in Italian Antipasti, are very important in Italy. It’s the beginning of many other deliciousness to come when having an Italian dinner. I normally must stop myself from eating too much otherwise I can’t eat the rest of the dishes that are on the menu.
When we plan a dinner for friends at home we never ever miss out on the antipasti. I absolutely adore them. The best part of an appetizer is that you can normally prepare them in advance. And when you want to work organized like me and my love it’s simply perfect. We normally start a few days before thinking about the menu. I’m not very in to a 4 course dinner at home, I prefer to stick with the 3 course ones. Otherwise I need to go running much more kilometers the day after ;). For both of us it’s always clear, both the antipasti and the dessert will be on the menu. So we either add an entree (un primo) like pasta or a risotto or a main course (un secondo) based on fish or meat.
We first decide if we prepare a primo or a secondo and then if it will be based on fish or meat. This is very important because it determines our antipasti. You can’t make antipasti with meat when after that you will eat fish or vice versa. That’s a no-go in casa Letizia… And then the question how much are we going to make? Between me and my love it’s always me that has to say stop when deciding which antipasti we’ll be serving. He could go on and on so luckily I’m there to remind him that we don’t only have appetizers on the menu and that it’s important that we don’t serve too much. I always feel a bit uncomfortable if there’s too much food and I hate it when I feel like exploding after a dinner. So I obviously want to avoid that feeling with our guests.
I still remember the summer holidays in Italy when I was still a little girl. All that food and all that eating when visiting my Italian family. When I thought the food was finally finished and got the surprise of more food. When I was practically begging my mom in Dutch to tell them I couldn’t stand it anymore. When my little stomach was hurting of all the food. And my Italian family consistently told me I didn’t eat anything and I was way to skinny… Let’s say I want to avoid that kind of Italian hospitality at my home. I call it Italian hospitality on purpose because I know it wasn’t their intention to “feed” me until I couldn’t take it anymore. It’s their way of saying, welcome to my home and eat as much as you want because there’s plenty. All because they want you to feel at home in their home…. So it’s a sort of hospitality.
Anyway, I’m always aware not to prepare too much food when we invite people at our place. But…appetizers are a must!!!
Today a delicious antipasto when you prepare a dinner (or lunch of course) based on fish: Creamy Salmon Bites
I invented it when standing in the supermarket so it’s my own recipe…Hope you like it as much as I do!
- crescenza cheese (or any other cream cheese)
- smoked salmon
- chop the almonds and mix with the crescenza cheese.
- spread the cheese mixture on top of the smoked salmon and roll up.
- cut into small slices.