Monday, June 4, 2012

Pizza Party

There is not much better casual food than grilled pizzas. All the work (thanks to Ann for doing all the prep work for this party while I was off at a graduation party for my daughter) can be done in advance so that all you need to do is grill pizza dough and let people top their own. Ann made and balled all the dough from the no-knead recipe that we use at the restaurant. It makes a fabulous crust. Tip for anyone reading this who has never grilled pizza: grill the dough on both sides to firm it up, then remove it from the grill and top it, and then return it to warm everything up.

For appetizers for a crowd, a big antipasto platter is about as easy as it comes. We've got five or six kinds of sausage including a couple of kinds of sopressata, hard Spanish chorizo, and hot calabrese from our friends at Olli Salumeria down in Richmond. Four kinds of cheese, grapes, and tomatoes round out the platter. Behind it you see marinated bocconcini of mozzarella, mixed olives, and artichokes marinated in olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, garlic, and basil from the garden.

We started with sparkling wine with our antipasti: Prosecco, Crémant de Bourgogne, and a 2008 vintage blanc de blancs from Thibaut-Janisson down in Charlottesville.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, Pesto, Spicy Sausage, Goat Cheese, and Basil
We ate so many mini pizzas that I lost track. For toppings, we had pesto, a roasted red pepper sauce, hot and mild Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano, local goat cheese, caramelized onions, local shiitake mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, olives, fresh arugula, and fresh basil from the garden.

Chocolate Chianti Cupcakes

Ann made these cute little chocolate and red wine cupcakes for dessert. And speaking of Chianti, we put away a few bottles with our pizza!
Dewie and Pepper
Jen and Pepper

Shawn and Ann

Shawn and Billy


Marco Due

Baby Robin
The whole while we were out on the patio, the parent robins kept up a constant airlift of bugs and native honeysuckle berries to the (at least two) babies in the nest in the wisteria on the pergola.
It's not a party until someone is wearing a bra on his ear!

How did the brown dog score pizza?

The beautiful sunflowers Shawn brought us.

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