While I was eating my healthy, vegetable-rich Friday night hotpot, I caught up on cooking shows on the Asian Food Network.While watching Anna Olson prepare an antipasto platter, I mused on the fact that I had /some/ antipasto-like stuff in the fridge. Two types of cured chicken slices from the local “gourmet” aka processed food company, 2 wholemeal batons from TESCO, lots of vegetables, a couple of types of daily cheeses (cheddar, parmesan). Okay, it’s not fancy, but I don’t think I’m going to be stocking up on olives or fancy cheeses (though I am pining for some nice gruyere or camembert at the moment) until May or June. GST-mah. Must save. Also, I have yet to decide on my 40th birthday treat and must save towards that, whatever it may be. (right now it’s a toss up between a new notebook or a beachside writing retreat, or a fancy french dinner at the same place as last year)
Anyway, I’ve been angsting about bringing lunch from home to work everyday. Namely: It’s a lot of work to sometimes prepare lunch in advance, and I don’t always want to eat the same things in the day that I eat at night. So, my reminder of how wonderful antipasti can be had me thinking of maybe making antipasto lunch boxes (or antipasti bento, except I have lost TWO nice bento boxes: one in the badlands and another in Brisbane).
While I don’t like to eat the same thing for lunch and dinner, I have enough of an inner twelve year old that I don’t mind eating the same lunch everyday. I’m just musing (it may not happen but the main reason why I am blogging this is to remind myself to make it happen), that I could perhaps prepare a couple of the components on Sunday, and then I could have antipasto lunches on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Wednesday is going to be my appointment with the doctor so I will likely either eat at the hospital or come back to eat.
Tomato chutney, or alternately, tomatoes baked with balsamic vinegar and garlic (it is heaven!)
A nice tossed salad
charred capsicum in olive oil
Baked eggplant (although, I am out of eggplant right now. This is such a nummy thing to spread over bread though)
The chicken lyoner can be prepared a day in advance
aforementioned cheeses (I like the idea of making cheese cups or cheese balls)
spiced caramelised apples.
Parmesan or Cheddar crisps, just to get all fancy
(I did think arancini would be lovely, but then I remembered that I am out of arborio rice and that they are expensive thingamajigs to waste)
I can alternate the proteins, I guess. Sausages on one day, and chicken deli slices on another day. Ah, I miss the sun-dried roma tomato and greek olives antipasto I used to get at the deli in Brisbane. Sooo good on crusty baguettes. But! I can make something close to it! Once I get olives! Must find cheap olives. I’m also out of capers, woe!
Will probably finish the wholemeal batons over the weekend, but I also want to use the frozen pizza base that’s been in the freezer for awhile, so maybe not.
Anyway, here’s some links I found while I was tossing the idea around in my head
Jamie Oliver’s Antipasti Recipes — fancy but not really do-able for everyday when you’re a frazzled, over-extended academic attempting to have a successful creative writing career as well.
A Simple Lunch: Antipasto — These look really practical and do-able for me. I can happily make marinated mushrooms!
Antipasto Skewers — My inner 12-year old (haha) approves! Pity I have no skewers on hand, I think I would love to alternate chicken pepper slices w/ charred vegetables, pickles, cheeses and the odd grape or two (all things I have in the fridge). Party in my office! Whee.
The Perfect Antipasto Plate — I’ve been to at least one dinner party where the highlight for me was the antipasto platter because it was so perfectly balanced. This article spells out very well what the balance should be.
Ina Garten’s Antipasto Platter — Also doable, and I was already thinking of slicing a baton lengthwise to make a nice long bruschetta for simple, yet classy lunches 😉
Two Antipasto Bento Ideas I Really Like!
Will there be a test drive? Oh heck yes. I’m thinking of having an antipasto platter of sorts for Saturday brunch. Cheeses, cured meats, a nice salad, a generous mound of caramelised onions with maybe some balsamic vinegar drizzled over. Fresh basil leaves from my balcony garden. Yum!
Of course, if I finish the batons over the weekend I will need to get fresh batons on Sunday. Will see how it goes. If my pizza is nummy enough, may bring some to work. I have mushrooms, two types of capsicum and lots of pretty tomatoes! I also adore sardine pizzas! If I have spoons, I might try to make some gluten-free crispy bread. Or something cracker-like.