In the Kitchen
Building your own mezzo mezzo board
By Desiree Sardo
By Desiree Sardo
Customizable, adaptable and – perhaps most importantly – delicious, a mezzo mezzo board is an indispensible part of any social gathering. Desiree Sardo of Sardo Foods in Bolton, Ont., provides tips on how to build an interesting charcuterie and antipasto display.
Presenting a variety of fresh foods in one place makes for an ideal appetizer before your dinner party or is a great plate for nibbles while you share a glass of wine or a few cold beers with friends and family.
A mezzo mezzo board is the perfect blend of simplicity, delicacy and sophistication. Meaning ‘half and half,’ mezzo mezzo boards are part meat and crackers, part antipasto and pickled vegetables. Presenting bold flavours and mouth-watering combinations at your disposal, you can satisfy every palate in the room. The presentation of the board when you are entertaining is important, but it also quite easy. When you have the right products on hand, you don’t even have to try hard to be creative.
One of the attractions of the mezzo mezzo board is that there are no hard and fast rules for putting together your own. With some thought about the flavours you are assembling, you can make your mezzo mezzo board more than just a snack – it can be a conversation piece.
· Start with the meats. Cured meats are central to the mezzo mezzo board. We recommend a pesto, tapenade or bruschetta as a starting point.
· Add your antipasto. Grilled peppers and mushrooms, artichoke hearts, stuffed jalapenos, bocconcini … the options for antipasto to pair with your meats are nearly endless.
· You absolutely need olives. Adding green or black olives not only bring some colour to the presentation of your mezzo mezzo board, they also taste great and add variety to the offerings. Consider olives stuffed with garlic or spicy piri piri peppers for a little extra kick.
· Provide a variety of breads. Crackers, crostinis, pita chips, breadsticks – each adds a little diversity to the board, may serve as a vehicle for the other pieces on the board and are essential for the ….
· Dips, dips, dips. For your mezzo mezzo board, you want more than a salsa or ranch dip. A tapenade pesto is a delicious option, or a bruschetta mix that can go atop your crostini.
It is almost impossible to put these pieces together on a bread board and not have it look good. They all display really nicely, and if you present something that looks good, people will want to try it. The more senses you can engage, the better the experience. If it looks good and smells good, chances are it will taste good.
Desiree Sardo owns and operates Sardo Foods in Bolton, Ont., which specializes in olives, antipasti, pesto, spreads and bruschetta. For more information, visit www.sardofoods.ca.