Friday, July 1, 2011

July Dinner Party {monthly menu}

Those proverbial dog days of summer are upon us. We've been seeing temperatures hovering around 90 for days. For our monthly get-together, we wanted a menu that was seasonal, as local as possible, and with minimal oven time.

Sarah and I have both ordered weekly produce from CSAs this year, although my box actually comes from Door-to-Door Organics and is not a true CSA. (But for an extra buck a box, my fruit and veggies come entirely from Colorado farms. Well worth it to me.) Putting our big boxes of produce to work is a challenge that we've been enjoying.

July Dinner Party Menu

The salad was refreshing and pretty: sugar snap peas and strawberries were from Aspen Moon Farms, Sarah's CSA farm of choice.  We tossed them both with baby greens and a lemony thyme vinaigrette.

The prosciutto, gruyere, and arugula tart was fabulously easy to make, and a bit like a dressed up pizza. In fact, we tried to sell it to our toddlers as pizza, but they weren't entirely convinced by all that leafy (delicious!) arugula. The puffed pastry minimizes time in a hot summer kitchen, and it only needs 20 minutes or so in the oven.
Prosciutto, Gruyere, and Arugula Tart
  • 1 sheet of frozen puffed pastry, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere
  • 3 oz prosciutto, cut into strips
  • a couple handfuls baby arugula
  • 1 tb olive oil
  • 1 tb lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400. Roll out the puffed pastry to about 10 x 14 inches. Fold the edges inward about 1/2 inch and crimp down with the tines of a fork all the way around, sealing it together and creating a pretty pattern. Using a fork, pierce the pastry all over. Place on a cookie sheet, and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
2. Spread 1 cup (saving 1/2 cup) of the Gruyere around the crust. Place the strips of prosciutto around the crust, and then sprinkle the final 1/2 cup of cheese on top.
3. In a bowl, toss the arugula with the olive oil, lemon juice, and add salt and pepper to taste. Place the lightly-dressed arugula on top of the tart.
4. Bake until golden, around 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.

For dessert, we indulged in one of our childhood pleasures by recreating the Chipwich (i.e., a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich). You can read more about that deliciousness here.

And of course, our summertime cooking soundtrack:


  1. Can I come for dinner? This has all my favourite things, simple seasonal fresh salad and cheese & rocket on puff pastry. The cookie sanwiches wouldn't last long either. Your photos are beautiful too, they really evoke a laid back summer vibe! :D

  2. I just stumbled upon your blog looking for the perfect recipe for an ice cream sandwich cookie. Your blog is beautiful. Looking forward to reading more.


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