Every dish is exquisitely prepared: the antipasta platter is sprinkled with kalamata olives, thinly cut prosciutto, feta cheese and roasted red peppers. The hummus plate is lined with pita ready for dipping. How to display these gourmet creations, however, should merit just as much consideration as how much garlic needs to be added to the baba ghanoush.
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Olive oil is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine. This yellowish-green oil is used liberally in pastas, sauces and salads. Showcase olive oil by placing large jars of it on the table. Many well-known stores, like Target and Walmart, carry oil jars filled with herbs, peppers or other colourful vegetables. Or, just place clay pots filled with flowers on the table to convey an image of Old World authenticity.
Few can create a Greek salad without oregano, rosemary and a host of other aromatic herbs. Adorn the table with these herbs in the form of potted plants or sprigs of it around the platter. Rosemary, for example, grows in long sprigs that can decorate the borders of plates easily. In its plant form, the rosemary shrub is easily trimmed into a variety of shapes and can add instant fragrance to the buffet area.
Diane Kochilas, author of "The Food and Wine of Greece," explains that "krasi" (the Greek word for wine) is an integral part of the Mediterranean culture. Dionysus, the god of wine, had his status revoked when he shared the secret of wine with other cultures. Celebrate this heritage by placing bottles on the table and putting a narrow wax candle in it. Or,tie the wine bottle with large ribbons in colours of plum, green and maroon. A third option is to use the bottle as a vase and place flowers in it. Fill the bottle half way with small rocks if the flowers are not tall enough to protrude correctly from the vase.
Wine Cork Labels
Use wine corks to label dishes and serve as name cards. A few months before the party, collect wine corks and ask friends to save them for you. Superglue each cork to a 3-by-5-inch piece of card stock. Choose a piece of card stock with ornate designs on it, like grapevines or a curly border. Use a razor blade to cut a deep incision into the wine cork and run the blade across the length of wine cork. Place a business card-sized label into the wine cork and place it next to its respective dish.
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