Restaurateur, cookbook author and chef Donatella Arpaia is in the TODAY kitchen to share a few of her favorite spring entertaining recipes. She shows us how to make a cheesy frittata with asparagus, quinoa tabbouleh salad and a DIY polenta bar with homemade sauces and toppings.
In Italy, frittatas are typically eaten at the lighter evening meal (lunch is the main meal of the day), but I find they are perfectly appropriate for brunch, picnics, lunch, American-style dinner, or even cut into small bites for hors d'oeuvres. Humble as it may seem, this mixture of eggs, vegetables and cheese puffs up soufflé-style thanks to the addition of the beaten egg whites, to bring a little drama to the table.
I find I gravitate towards this dish when I want to gather close friends. Serve it with a pitcher of sangria or fruity Italian red wine and a simple green salad.
I was never much of a fan of tabbouleh until I replaced the heavier, denser bulgur with delicate quinoa. This is a perfect combination of textures, with crisp vegetables studding the soft grains. By the way, quinoa is the perfect grain for those watching their carbs, as it is high in protein.
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