Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fabulous Food for Spring

Due in part to a tighter financial situation (of course; I moved from sharing a three-bed flat with three others to a studio and my rent has risen accordingly) and less space (again, of course; see the aforementioned studio flat) I haven't thrown a proper dinner party since April - that is, until this past weekend.  I got a yen to cook a really extravagant meal for friends a few days before and decided that, money and space notwithstanding, I was going to have a dinner party.

Late spring is, I think, one of the best times to show off culinarily; the ingredients available are so fresh and vibrant that they make even the simplest recipes shine.  You don't need any serious skill in the kitchen to make these recipes as the food does all the work for you, but your guests will be truly impressed with the feast!

We started with easy nibbles: olive tapenade that I bought at Borough Market, grissini wrapped with prosciutto, and boursin on melba toast.  The starter was Ina Garten's zucchini pancakes which are beyond simple to make and are essentially latkahs but with courgettes instead of potatoes - many thanks to Aunt Louise for bringing this recipe to my attention.

The main meal featured lamb (I essentially used this BBC recipe but omitted the vegetable bit) with a side of conchigliette (I wanted to make orzo but couldn't find any) and the most amazing salad I have ever invented:

Super Spring Salad
(amounts should depend on how many you're feeding and on how much you like the ingredients - I sort of just threw things in the bowl and mixed them up without paying attention to measurements, oops - and there are no real cooking instructions other than agitating the peas and beans in boiling water for a few minutes and then smooshing everything together in a very nommy way)
baby spinach leaves, washed
garden peas
broad/fava beans
pine nuts

I got lazy regarding dessert and just served a cheese board that featured my new finds of Cashel Blue and Sleighlett as well as Brie de Meaux and a cheddar.

It was delicious and the company was vivacious and, really, I oughtn't wait so long between dinner parties, I've decided, because they're entirely too much fun.

What are you cooking these days?  Any good entertaining on your horizon?


  1. Sounds yummy!! You should be on that show "Come Dine With Me"

  2. Too much pressure! But I do love cooking for people :)


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