One of my life’s great pleasures is entertaining – I know many of you will think I’m quite mad, but I genuinely enjoy feeding a crowd. In the past, I loved a good fine dining occasion – catering for a three or four-course meal was exciting!
But having kids certainly changed that! So now when I entertain, it tends to be more of an all-in feast – a lovely selection of fresh food served buffet style is my preference. I also try to stick with dishes that I can do the bulk of the preparation in advance.
So I thought, given the social nature of this time of year, that I would share a few fast, easy to prepare dishes that I often serve to a crowd. Starting with my tasty take on a potato bake.
Take a look at the variations (below the main recipe) for suggestions to alter the recipe to suit many specific dietary requirements.
For lots more sides and salad inspo, take a look at my hugely popular ebook ˜Well Nourished Sides and Salads’– where vegetables become the hero of the dish. It’s great value at just $9.95, click HERE to take a look.
A budget friendly side that's not only delicious, but also nourishing for your family. This Mediterranean Potato Bake is a great dish for when you're entertaining a large group too.
- 1 kg small potatoes washed (I use Dutch Creams or Kipflers)
- 2 heaped tablespoons fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano) OR 1 level tablespoon of dried herb provencal
- 50 g your choice of fat (butter, ghee, extra virgin olive oil, lard or duck fat)
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar (I use red wine or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 cup (approx.) black olives, pitted (kalamata are nice)
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil
Preheat your oven to 200℃.
In a large pot, boil your potatoes until just cooked.
While your potatoes are cooking, chop your herbs and place them in a large bowl with the fat, garlic, capers, vinegar and olives.
Add the cooked and drained hot potatoes to the bowl and toss to coat (I bash the spuds up a little so they just start to break apart - they cook crunchier that way).
Pop into an oven proof baking dish (I serve directly from this dish) and bake for 45 minutes or until crunchy on top.
Drizzle with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, season with sea salt (only a little as the olives and capers are salty) and black pepper.
I would serve this to accompany a BBQ or roast style meal with a few different salads (loads of beautiful salad recipes here). We often have this midweek with grilled fish or meat and a leafy green salad.
Replace the garlic with half a bulb of finely diced fennel - it's really delicious.
Choose extra virgin olive oil as your fat.
Make it cheesy
This is lovely with grated parmesan or feta cheese crumbled over it.