The farmer’s market season is almost finished…and I barely ever made it there! I figured this was a great weekend to go…last real weekend of freedom before teaching, a friend in town, yummy foods to buy. Well, it definitely turned into a fruitful (haha) trip. In fact, we bought so much that I had to make a dinner party out of it!
So I called a couple of friends and informed them they would be fed and, in return, would be expected to go salsa dancing. (Not a bad deal if I may say so myself!) Well, the response was overwhelming and dinner for two turned into dinner for 8. Not to worry…there was plenty of food on hand.
Course 1: Salad
With the large variety of tomatoes available, the only real option for salad included a range of tastes and colors. To make the salad, I started by marinating onions in balsamic vinegar and oil. I also cleaned some portabellos and marinated those in oil and vinegar with a little sea salt and fresh basil. Right before serving, I cut up a few different types (sorry…can’t remember all the names), including cherry and zebra tomatoes. Those were mixed with pieces of avocado and kalamata olives and the marinated onions. The portabello was the bowl! I drizzled some fig balsamic vinegar on top for an extra touch. They were beautiful and absolutely delish!
Course Two: Entree
This course was so much fun to make. We started with a pistachio encrusted orange roughy. I don’t eat a lot of fish, but it seemed like a good choice for the meal. This was SO easy to make. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put pistachios in the food processor and process until they are small pieces. Some will turn to dust, but you should have some larger pieces. Add cumin, paprika and a bit of chile powder or cayenne pepper to the pistachios and mix. Season fish with olive oil, salt and pepper**. Place fish on top of pistachios and make sure they stick. Flip the fish and coat the other side. Line a pyrex or baking sheet with aluminum and place the fish on top. Cover the fish with the remaining pistachios. Cut another piece of foil and cover the fish, creating a packet. Cook for 25 min or so. If the fish is not done after 25 min, you can take it out and leave it sealed to help it cook some more.
**I did not soak the fish in egg due to allergies. The pistachios stayed pretty well, so I am not sure it was necessary. Maybe if you were going to pan-fry it.
A friend of mine made some eggplant parmesean. It wasn’t too bad, but we have to work on this one. It had to be allergy free – so no wheat and no dairy. He used Amaranth bread crumbs and parmesean (which I guess I am allowed to eat, even though it’s dairy. I don’t know how he did it…but it was pretty!
I got the next recipe from Arabesque by Claudia Rodin. Simply boil potatoes until tender. While they are boiling, make the dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, chile powder and salt. Whisk together. Drain potatoes and quarter. Toss in dressing. Add parsley and black olives. Voila!
Third Course: Dessert 🙂
For dessert, we had a fruit salad and a chocolate pie with raspberry sauce. The chocolate pie is the same recipe as I posted previously. For the raspberry sauce, simply mash raspberries and agave nectar. Feel free to put them in the blender for a smoother sauce. I really like the chunkiness of the sauce with the smooth pie. It was a total hit! No one even minded that the pie was made from avocados. 🙂
All in all, I would say that dinner was a total success! Besides the amount of dishes we used…dinner was totally tasty and the company was great.
I can’t wait for the next dinner party!! I just need to buy a bigger dishwasher!