I couldn’t help myself — I had to make the stuffed quail again! Usually, if I fall in love with a recipe, I keep making it over and over, or else I won’t be able to stop thinking about it. (Blame it on my obsessive nature). For this Italian feast, I also made ricotta crostini, a roast beet, shaved fennel, blood orange, parmesan and arugula salad (I’ll be sad to see this winter salad go!); River Cafe’s stewed beans with swiss chard, scarlet carrots, and tomatoes, and a potato gratin tricked out with sage and nutmeg.
I was also thrilled to see this Chateau Mont-Redon Lirac make another appearance at our dinner table. We drank a magnum of the stuff with last summer’s ratatouille, and we drank another magnum of it with the quail. I said that this wine was “very drinkable” and was teased for it — but it’s true, this is a sure guzzler, just a pure joy to gulp down. The Lirac is astoundingly versatile and goes particularly well with Provencal flavors like olives, licorice, roast poultry, and fresh herbs. (At one point, Adam made me sniff dried lavender buds before taking a sip — perfection!)
My old friend Meghan was in town for the weekend in preparation for her inspiring workshop at Le Pick Up, so the night she and Claudia were to arrive, I had a cozy, hot meal ready and waiting. We snacked on leftover charcuterie, cheeses, and homemade pickled carrots with hummus and breadsticks, and then moved onto dinner, starting with a salad of wild arugula laced with toasted hazelnuts, nectarines, and avocado, thinly dressed with walnut oil and sherry vinegar. We finished with a vibrant herb and mustard-rubbed pork loin served over beluga lentils (I love their rich, glossy black color) and new potatoes roasted in bacon grease. And finally, the fruit crumble seems to be every cook’s go-to uber-lazy dessert (it is for me anyway), and this luscious dish of halved golden plums roasted in blueberry honey and minced thyme was no exception. I often prefer my fruit desserts more tart than sweet, and this almost had an addictive sourness that I loved.
It’s so great to see old friends. A decade later, and very little has changed about our friendship, though we’ve grown so much in individual ways. So nice. I often wish I could gather all the people I love into one city, so I can see them whenever I want. Selfish, I know.
Posted in dinner, food, party, people, summer
Tagged arugula salad, beluga lentils, dinner, le pick up, old friends, pork loin, root medicine
The bridal shower I keep going on and on about? I was also in charge of the food. The vibe was simple and light — and I didn’t want to go the finger sandwich and chicken salad route — and I decided on grilled crostini two ways: broiled garden tomatoes soaked in balsamic and torn basil, and white bean, mushroom, thyme, and zucchini, drenched in white wine and lemon. Two salads, too: red leaf lettuce with dill, terragon, basil, garden cucumbers, and fresh summer corn, and arugula with grilled radicchio, blueberries, and homemade rye croutons. And dessert, of course — two summer fruit crostatas, one peach and raspberry, the other blueberry. Not only was it the first bridal shower I’ve ever hosted, it was the first bridal shower I’ve attended, ever. Hopefully it had the low-key and ladylike vibe befitting the lovely bride!