I'm making a braciole on Sat. for 6 foodie friends but can't decide what I should make for an appetizer and 1st course. Can you help?



LE B. April 12, 2013
To best answer that question,I need to know what you are serving with the braciole. Were I doing it, I would serve the br. w/ a shiitake risotto and chard or kale sauteed with garlic and served with lemon.The latter as a clean acidic note contra the richness of the other 2 dishes. Before the beef brac. etc, I would serve a salad with some crunchy fresh textural notes: hazelnuts, pine nuts, or walnuts, sliced fennel and/or jerusalem artichokes(no cheese bec. you have that w/ the rich risotto to follow)and possibly a red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar based dressing ; keep it light and refreshing, not salty and rich(cheeses and salumi)because of what is to come. By appetizer, do you mean hors d'oeuvre to have with drinks? If so, i still say to stay away from charcuterie and cheeses
(the entree plate will be plenty salty; you don't want to be drinking water the rest of the night). Maybe some roasted vegetables and some eggplant caponata and/or white bean spread with good bread.
Exbruxelles April 11, 2013
Appetizer: Truffle popcorn. (It makes people crazy.) I'd probably also do bagna caudal, but there's never anything left of the truffle popcorn.
First course: Risotto with carmelized fennel, orange zest and salt-cured olives.
The escarole salad would be great after the braciole.
Amanda H. April 11, 2013
How about an escarole salad with a garlic-anchovy dressing?
ChefJune April 11, 2013
To accompany braciole, I'd like an antipasto of mostly vegetables. and for a first course, I'd sauce some linguine with the tomato sauce you cooked the braciole in. Broccoli rape for a veggie, because its sharpness contrasts so well with the sweetness in the sauce.
sdebrango April 11, 2013
I would do an antipasti, assorted cured italian meats,, roasted and pickled vegetables, cheese, and some good rustic Italian bread. I love a good antipasti and it goes well with any great Italian meal, I just love braciole!!
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