Monday, August 22, 2011

August Dinner Party {monthly menu}

Things have been a little crazy around these parts. Sarah has been moving into her lovely new home, and I've been very helpful in telling her where all her things should go. (Helpful... right, Sarah? Right?) Anyway, it has been a busy month. But we made some time for a very simple dinner party to celebrate August's harvest.

Between the plants in our backyards and our CSA boxes, we've been enjoying a lot of tomatoes these days. These tomatoes are so ripe and luscious, they don't need any cooking at all. Good thing, because we don't want to spend that time slaving over a hot stove anyway.

August Dinner Party Menu
  • Plate of assorted cheeses, dates, almonds, and honeycomb
  • Pasta with cherry tomatoes and spicy greens
  • Homemade raspberry ice cream with chewy almond cookies
  • Wine: Layer Cake primitivo (zinfandel)
  • Beer: Breckenridge Brewery 471 IPA

Determined to keep kitchen time at a minimum, we headed off to the Cheese Importers Warehouse to pick out selections for our first course. Our plate consisted of Triple Cream Goat Brie by Woolwich Dairy Inc, followed by a firm but slightly sweet Blue Ovin Sardo made from sheeps milk.  Last but not least, we sampled the pungent Bermuda Triangle which is another goats milk cheese, this one made in Northern California.

A couple years ago, I came across a tasty-sounding recipe in the NY Times which is the starting point for this recipe. It is only now at this moment, after referring to the recipe several times over the past two years that I realize the author of the recipe is Martha Rose Shulman whose great cookbook Mediterranean Harvest is in heavy rotation in my kitchen. We adapted the recipe to use the produce we already had, subbing in a couple handfuls of spicy mixed greens that Sarah received in her CSA box for the arugula that Shulman suggests.

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Greens
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large garlic clove or a couple small, minced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup spicy mixed greens, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon slivered fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound gemelli
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated ricotta salata (more to taste)
1. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, salt, balsamic vinegar, arugula, basil, and olive oil in a wide bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a generous amount of salt and the pasta. Cook al dente, until the pasta is firm to the bite. Drain, toss with the tomatoes, sprinkle on the cheese, and serve.

 This summer has been my first foray into the art of making ice cream. I bought myself this lovely, cherry red Cuisinart ice cream maker, and I couldn't be happier. This raspberry ice cream is my favorite recipe yet, and I'll be sharing it on Two Tarts soon here it is. We served the ice cream along with the chewy almond cookies we made recently.

We listened to:
Washed Out - Within & Without

1 comment:

  1. Awesome menu. You couldn't have planned it better than a professional NYC catering company. Thank you for sharing that recipe, will check out the one for the raspberry ice cream next!


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