This weekend, turn your patio into a pizzeria by serving friends this menu of Italian-inspired eats al fresco. Kick off the meal with a classic cocktail, then please the crowd with a beautiful salad and a variety of delicious pizzas.
Greet your guests with a Campari and soda, a popular Italian aperitif. The colorful drink has a complex taste reminiscent of bitter oranges — perfect for perking up your tastebuds. Snack on these rustic, super simple white bean and arugula crostini.
Pizzas are the perfect canvas for whatever seasonal ingredients you want to highlight. You can’t go wrong with the tried-and-true favorites: tomato-rich Margherita or a mild, wonderfully creamy white pizza. For something a little heartier, try this Italian sausage and fresh mozzarella pizza with a trio of bell peppers. Or, get creative and try your own combinations! On the side, serve an antipasto salad, filled with cured meats, cheese and arugula and featuring a bright peperoncini vinaigrette.
End the meal with a bite of refreshing, peak-season fruits. We love these wine-spiked berries spooned over ricotta cheese.
- 1 day ahead: Make the pizza dough and refrigerate overnight to let rise (bring to room temperature before stretching and baking). Cook the syrup for the dessert.
- Day of: Bake the crostini and cook the beans for the appetizer.
- Just before serving: Assemble the crostini and make the salad. Finish and cook the pizzas. Mix the cocktails and serve. Finish the dessert.
Yes, you can bake the pizzas indoors, but there are also plenty of ways to cook pizzas outside — and it definitely makes the patio party run more smoothly. An outdoor grill gives pizza an entirely new, smoky character. Here are some different methods.
Serve pizzas directly off the pizza peels or on wooden boards for a relaxed feel. Instead of a set table, stand flatware in tumblers on the kitchen island and serve wine in stemless glasses. Pile extra vegetables in a bowl or place herb bunches in jars or glasses to create an easy, informal centerpiece.
Work ahead! Mix the dough and prep toppings a day before the party so you’re ready to go when guests arrive. It’s simple to make dough yourself, but high-quality prepared doughs work just as well. Chop vegetables and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.