When it comes to having people over for dinner, you may find you’re a little rusty. It happens to the best of us (literally me last week when I made a pantry pasta with literally no sides and no dessert for friends), and it’s likely we are so used to resorting to sandwiches for dinner as a result of quarantine cooking burnout that our momentum to rustle up a six-part-feast is at rock bottom, but you’ll likely want to give it a shot regardless, now that we can have up to five people in the home in NSW. In the event you need some simple, home-style dishes to get the creative juices pumping again, we’ve compiled a non-cohesive list of low-maintenance mains, sides, salads and desserts to accompany your dinner party woes while you get back on your feet.
The crowd pleaser. Chicken thighs are seared to golden-y perfection in a skillet and then cooked in brothy, jammy, tomatoes and harissa finished with feta. Nothing not to like and it comes together in 45 minutes with minimal intervention. A yes from us
A super chill salad that packs a very non-chill punch. Perfect on the side because it holds little nutritional value (unless you count crunch and deliciousness as nutritional value) other than water, this salad is savoury, moreish and pairs well with basically everything.
For when herbivores come to dinner and you’re sick to death of pasta, turn the humble cabbage into something you’re thinking about for days after eating. Here, the cabbage gets a similar treatment to the above chicken thighs, only this time is roasted in the oven for that caramelised texture.
If you’re in no mood to cook but want to host, a snack plate is a great way to throw something satisfying together in minutes. Use up vegetables in the fridge, leftover meat, add some boiled baby potatoes (our fav) and your guests will be endlessly happy as long as a strong dip is involved.
A low-key blueberry crostata is high-key one of the most joyful things in life. This guy comes together easily with little technique necessary and once your pastry is good to go, takes about 10 minutes to assemble. Throw into a hot oven and forget about it for 40 minutes and everyone is a winner.