With such a busy summer that quickly morphed into fall, I realized that weeks had gone by without seeing several of my close friends. My apartment, while small, is still perfectly suitable for hosting small gatherings. It gets incredible light during the day (which makes for a lovely brunch), but the intimacy is also quite nice for dinner or evening cocktails.
For me, entertaining doesn’t need to be a fussy ordeal. So long as there is quality food, plentiful drink and interesting conversation, you’re guaranteed a good time. In fact, you don’t even need to cook. I had a few friends over a couple of weekends ago, and prepared a bountiful Middle Eastern spread, without soiling a single saucepan.
Marinated olives from Trader Joe’s have become a new staple of mine. They’re served in airtight packs that can keep for weeks in my pantry – they’ve come in handy for a number of last-minute get-togethers.
To offer a few other bites, I chop up some pickled turnips and fresh figs alongside a plate of pistachios. Pop open a bottle of white wine and we’re done!
I always make sure to have two spices on hand – aleppo pepper flakes and za’atar. While there are many uses for the spices, I love them because they can be quickly combined with olive oil and poured over store-bought hummus – it lends a bit of extra depth to something very familiar.
I also drizzle a bit of olive oil and sprinkle black salt + lemon zest over Labneh – another option to pair with grilled pita and pita chips.