Springtime Ideas for Alfresco Entertaining

Springtime in Sydney is perfect for an alfresco feast. The chill is gone, but there is still a crispness in the air… and the promise of warmer months on their way to make the outdoors just that bit more cheerful.
It’s also a season that sees an abundance of fresh, local produce and our Inner West markets are full to the brim with delicious, wholesome food. So here are some ideas on how to put together a great Springtime spread for outdoor entertaining.
Feast Decorating
Use your grocery run as an opportunity to pick up a colourful range of fresh produce to use decoratively and to eat later. In between your serving platters, simply scatter bunches fruit and veg like baby carrots, radishes, lemons, small handpicked posies and herbs in glass jars.
If you have any vintage items like a stack of old books, wooden crates or anything else rustic, use them as props to add some homely warmth to the mix.
Just about everything is re-usable in this style of decorating, so you’re reducing waste while creating an earthy and gorgeously organic table-scape.
The Grazing Table
I’m a huge fan of entertaining with a grazing table. It’s so relaxed and fuss free. Guests simple head over to the table and pick at what they want at their own leisure. For the host, it means that there is very little preparation that needs to be done and we all love that. Here are a few recipes from my entertaining toolkit which are always a hit. They are super easy and can be prepared in advance. It’s more a matter of “assembling” rather than making these from scratch.

  • Bocconcini Bites: Simply thread some bocconcini, a basil leaf and a cherry tomato onto a toothpick. Then drizzle with a home made or store bought pesto mixed with some good quality cold-pressed olive oil. It’s colourful, it tastes great and takes minutes to put together
  • Dukkah Coated Feta: Roll up some Danish feta into bite sized balls and let them refrigerate to set for an hour. Meanwhile, get our dukkah mix (you can make your own or store bought like we used) and dry roast the mix in a hot pan for a minute or two to release the flavours and oils. This step adds a further depth of flavour and crunch to the mix. When the mix is cool, roll your feta balls in the Dukkah, pop on a toothpick and serve it up. It’s a intensely flavoured bite, so accompany with some cut carrot, celery and crackers to balance it out.
  • Buttered Asparagus: Melt some good quality butter so it’s sizzling but not turning brown. Add sage leaves and toss in a bunch of whole asparagus. Can be served hot or cold, either way they are delicious.
  • White Wine Sangria with Lychee & Mint: pick a bottle of your favourite white wine (we used a sparking wine), buy a tin of lychees and grab a handful of mint leaves. In a one litre glass bottle, add 2/3 up with white wine, the other third with the tinned syrup the lychees come in and then add a handful of sliced lychee and roughly chopped mint. Serve chilled.

Here are a few more favourites in my grazing table toolkit:

The Herb Bouquet
After a lazy brunch or afternoon of alfresco feasting and it’s time to all head home for a food-coma-siesta, I like to send my guests off with a little sampler from my bustling herb garden – a little mini bouquet wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string. My husband thinks it’s super dorky… but my guests always think it’s cute. Or so they say! Here are some easy ways to get your herb garden started and flourishing in the smallest of Inner West spaces.
I hope I’ve inspired you to move your entertaining outdoors. Enjoy the season IWM!
Surangi x

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