When planning a luncheon, develop a menu that is as elegant as the affair. A noontime luncheon calls for delicious, easy-to-eat foods, such as sandwiches and complementary side dishes. Choose food items that are filling and satisfying, but not too heavy. Use fresh ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables and just-baked bread, to create a high-quality lunch menu.
Tea Party-Inspired Sandwiches
Prepare dainty sandwiches reminiscent of those served at tea parties. Make traditional cucumber sandwiches by spreading softened cream cheese on white bread. Add thinly sliced, peeled cucumbers and a few sprigs of fresh dill to each sandwich. Other tea party-inspired sandwich options include curried chicken, egg salad, dried tomato, mozzarella and basil, and goat cheese and olive. Cut the crusts off of the sandwiches and arrange them on a silver or gold tray.
Pear and Gorgonzola Salad
A fresh garden salad makes a tasty side dish for gourmet sandwiches. Go beyond basic lettuce and tomato salads by incorporating fruit and other unexpected items into the dishes. Make a sweet and savory salad with fresh pear slices, creamy Gorgonzola blue cheese, chopped romaine lettuce, roasted pecans and a sliced red onion. Top the salad with a homemade olive oil, lemon juice and maple syrup dressing.
Gourmet Muffuletta Sandwiches
You don't have to be in a New Orleans to enjoy a multi-layered muffuletta sandwich. Surprise luncheon guests with these easy-to-make sandwiches filled with gourmet meats and cheeses. Start with fresh, crusty French baguettes and fill them with Italian salami, mortadella, ham and provolone cheese. You can experiment by adding mozzarella and sliced prosciutto or capocollo. Don't forget to top the sandwiches with olive salad, which is the ingredient that makes them extra special.
Red Potato Salad
No luncheon would be complete without cool, creamy potato salad. Make a red potato salad that features a lighter dressing and isn't swimming in extra fat and calories. Create the savory dressing by whisking together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Add salt, ground pepper and fresh dill to taste. Pour the dressing over boiled, cubed red potatoes and chopped red onion and blend well. You can peel the potatoes or leave their skins intact for a rustic appearance.
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Elizabeth Arnold has written for a wide variety of publications and websites. Her experience includes writing travel features for "Recommend" magazine and packaging marketing copy for both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. consumer products. Recently, Arnold was a staff writer for "Special Events" magazine. Arnold studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
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