Antonia Landi

Three starters – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on August 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Think you can’t make three starters in three minutes? Think again!

Even though they don’t always seem it, starters are a very important part of the meal. Want to be a bit fancy? Simply add another course to your dinner! Invite some friends round to a three-course meal – starter, main, and dessert – and you’ll be amazed at how easily you can pull it off!

As I mentioned before, starters are an integral part of a meal. Think about it – they are the first thing your guests will taste and serve as a mood-setter for the things that will follow. I usually try to keep the starter as seasonal as possible – if you’re unsure of what is in season and when, a quick search will do the trick. The golden rule is to always keep it light – you don’t want to fill your guests up right away! Keep it fresh – starters are an ideal way to serve a cool course during the hot summer months. Alternatively, opt for a warm salad or a soup during colder periods.

There is nothing better than finding a recipe that works for you and then sticking with it. Why not make your starter into a main? I love to serve up my caprese salad as a light lunch during summer, or make bigger portions of the couscous and leek salad and serve it with some toasted pitta bread! The truth is, as long as you keep it light and fresh there is not much you can do wrong. I love to use herbs in starters – since most of them rely on delicate flavours, you can really work with different herbs and make them shine.

Just a quick note on olive oil: I strongly suggest you buy good olive oil for these recipes – try to go for extra virgin olive oil whenever you can. As these recipes work with mild flavours, you will really be able to appreciate a good quality olive oil.

Feeds 4 as a starter or 2 as a main:

Caprese salad:

4 medium tomatoes

2 mozzarelle

Some fresh basil

Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste

Orange salad:

4 oranges

Thyme

Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste

Warm couscous and leek salad:

150g couscous

1 leek

1 lime

Mint

Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.

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