How to host a soiree without breaking the bank!
As spring approaches, we start to think about leisurely catch-ups in the sunshine... as well as how to entertain beautifully without splurging for every event!
We chose a Middle Eastern-inspired menu for our get-together, featuring pizzas and salads paired with a new take on the classic spritz cocktail. Perfectly suited to the Marblesque collection, this array of shareable food can be divided between larger statement platters and smaller pieces in summery hues.
Designed with aesthetics and accessibility in mind, this handmade glass collection is the perfect way to entertain simply and without breaking the bank this season.
Here are some simple tips to host a beautiful and casual get-together that will keep the budget in check:
- Stick to seasonal produce for fresh flavours without the price tag.
- Explore on-trend recipes using grains and veggies in large batches to share rather than opting for seafood or individual meat options.
- Simplify beverages by offering guests a signature cocktail and using drink dispensers for infused water rather than catering for too many drink preferences.
Middle Eastern Zucchini Pizza
Serves: 4 pizzas Prep: 40 mins Cook: 10 mins
For the pizza dough
- 400g ‘00’ flour, plus more to dust (also called pizza or bread flour)
- 100g fine semolina flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp caster sugar
- 7g sachet fast-action yeast
- 325ml warm water
For the topping
- Hummus (pre-made)
- 8 small-medium zucchinis, cut into ribbons & chargrilled
- Fried chickpeas
- Fresh coriander
- Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
- Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced)
- For the dough, put both flours, salt and sugar into a large bowl and stir.
- Mix the yeast with a little of the water in a jug to form a paste, then add the rest of the water to the jug so the yeast dissolves.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeasted water, gradually mixing to form a soft dough.
- Tip out and knead on a lightly floured work surface until smooth and elastic. Divide into 4 even pieces and roll into balls, then put on a tray, cover and leave to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile prepare your toppings.
- Use a vegetable peeler to create fine ribbons of zucchini and chargrill.
- Drain and rinse chickpeas. Heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil until hot and fry the chickpeas until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towel.
- Place your pizza tray in the oven to pre-heat or use a pizza stone if you have one. Roll each piece of dough out on a lightly floured surface into a circle or oval shape, about 5mm thick. Lay onto an upturned floured baking tray. Prick centre of base with a fork. Cover with a dry tea towel and sit in a warm spot to prove for 10-15 min.
- Slide the pizzas onto the hot tray or stone (you may have to cook in batches). Bake for 5-10 minutes until golden and crisp.
Top your pizzas with a generous smear of hummus, grilled zucchini ribbons & fetta. Sprinkle with herbs & fried chickpeas. Drizzle with olive oil.
Tip: Prepare pizza bases 2-3 days ahead and store wrapped in the fridge.
Israeli Cous Cous Salad
Serves: 4-6 Prep: 20 mins Cook: 30 mins
- 6 yellow and purple medium beetroots
- 2 large carrots, peeled
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups cooked Israeli cous cous
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
- Fresh continental parsley
- Peel and cut beetroots into halves lengthways. If beetroots are really large cut into quarter wedges. Chop carrots into similarly sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat.
- Place vegetables onto a large piece of aluminium foil and fold up edges to form a packet. Place on an oven tray and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until veggies are tender.
- Toss cooked quinoa and cous cous with 1 tbsp olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide among serving bowls. Top with roasted vegetables. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with fresh parsley.
Blueberry Summer Spritz Cocktail
Serves: 4 Prep: 10 mins
For the drink
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- 4 tbsp vanilla syrup (optional)
- 4 tbsp lime juice
- 240ml of gin (60ml per glass)
- 1½ to 2 cups soda water
- 1 baby cucumber cut lengthways into wedges
- 4 mint sprigs to garnish
- In each glass, use a muddler or a fork to crush 2 tablespoons of blueberries and 1 of the lime wedges with sugar syrup.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add all of the gin and shake for 30 seconds.
- Divide the gin between the glasses and top up each with approximately 1/3 cup soda water, 1 tbsp lime juice and additional ice cubes.
- Garnish with additional blueberries, cucumber wedge, mint sprigs and lime wedges.
Tip: To replicate the look of this summery drink, freeze blueberries and chopped cucumber into ice cubes.