Host a Labor Day Weekend Party Like Giada De Laurentiis
Say arrivederci to summer in style.
TOMATO, MOZZARELLA AND BASIL BRUSCHETTA, Giada De Laurentiis, EverydayItalian/Cocktail Party, Food Network, Whole Tomatoes, Basil, Olive Oil, Garlic, Baguettes,Mozzarella,TOMATO, MOZZARELLA AND BASIL BRUSCHETTA, Giada De Laurentiis, Everyday Italian/Cocktail Party, Food Network, Whole Tomatoes, Basil, Olive Oil, Garlic, Baguettes, Mozzarella
Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Summer is slowly slipping into fall (a little too early if you ask us), but there's time for one more cookout before you have to recommit yourselves to evenings of PTA meetings and after-school soccer games. If anyone knows how to throw the perfect beach bash, it's Giada. So take her lead and dish up some tasty bites al fresco.
Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Bruschetta (pictured above)
Giada's simple appetizer is a bite-size version of classic caprese salad. Tomatoes are at their peak at this point in the summer, so you get extra points if you sub fresh tomatoes in for the canned ones that the recipe calls for.
California Clam Bake
The best way to enjoy a messy meal is to eat it outside. No one worries about dripping on the table if it's lined with newspapers, they're all too focused on scooping clams and dipping fresh crusty Italian bread into the briny cooking juices. Perfetto!
Grilled Seafood Platter with Mustard Butter
Hosting successfully means you prep everything ahead and only grill some quick-cooking food while the party is going. It's the planning that'll make you look like the ever-effortless Giada. Seafood is the perfect protein for this – a few minutes on each side and you've successfully impressed your guests and gotten a full meal on the table without breaking a sweat.
Worried about cooking fish on the grill? We have your back.
Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad
Simplicity is key here. Eggplant is plentiful (and cheap!) this time of year, but you can also add in other farmers market finds like zucchini and tomatoes. Since this salad tastes great at room temperature, you can make it ahead and stay cool as a cucumber.
A cookout staple, pasta salad, has been Giada-fied and we definitely don't hate it. Using orzo makes the dish a bit more dainty than the classic version. Ricotta salata is an Italian aged ricotta with a salty tang – if you can't find it in your local grocery store you can sub with feta or queso fresco.
Italian Ice Pops
A simple and refreshing end to the meal that won't weigh you down, these ice pops are super easy to make. Giada cleverly uses an ice cube tray in place of ice pop molds to serve a crowd. Serve the ice pops in a bowl filled with ice so they don't melt before everyone can grab one.