Starters can vary from a simply prepared
shrimp salad to a lavish and expensive dish. What all have in common
is that they whet the appetite for the main course and the flavors
complement the food to follow. It is therefore a good idea when
planning a meal to choose the main course first, then go back and find
a suitable starter to introduce the style and tastes to come.
When serving a starter, remember that
you do not usually need large quantities of food - that may well
result in your family or guests struggling to eat their main meal.
Presentation is very important. Whether stylish and sophisticated or
robust and homely, the starter will set the tone and atmosphere for
your meal. Or course, as our lives become ever busier and our meal
patterns change, we often want just a light meal or perhaps to serve a
selection of recipes to a group of friends so that they can dip into
what they fancy. This section offers many recipes that are ideal for
just that, or you can serve individual dishes with a crisp green salad
and some crusty bread to make them a meal in themselves.