The countdown we dread every summer is here. With mere weeks until Labor Day and almost a month until the start of fall, we bet you’re trying to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis has shared some of her favorite tips to create an Italian-inspired al fresco dining experience and her signature Frangelico cocktail, The Frizzante.
“Family style is my favorite way of serving an outdoor Italian gathering,” she noted. “Everyone is family when they come over to my place so I like to get them all involved in carrying the dishes out the table as I finish plating them.” The dining style allows the host to really enjoy the gathering. “That way, when I am through with plating, the food is magically already where it should be and we are ready to eat!”
She favors family style because people can try a variety of dishes and it leads to conversation. “Guests can help themselves and go back for seconds of what they love without making anyone to get up and leave the table,” explained the chef. “Be sure to make enough food for everyone to have a little bit of everything.”
De Laurentiis believes you should keep the table fresh, light and welcoming. An easy way to do so is use simple white plates and limit glassware. Overstocking a table can lead to a mess when someone accidentally knocks something over. As for decorating, she likes to use small individual succulents to provide color and life around the table. “I often encourage guest to take one home with them as a parting gift after the meal,” said De Laurentiis.
Directions: Pour Frangelico over ice and top with sparkling water. Squeeze fresh lime, stir and serve.