Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring dinner party

Amanda and I decided to have a dinner party at her house on Saturday. I got to Carrboro around 1 pm Saturday, and we worked on finalizing the dinner menu for 8 (turned into 10). I've talked about Amanda before, but I love afternoons spent cooking with her. She is a trained (amazing) Natural Chef, and a great friend.

We decided to make a spring panzanella, carrot soup, homemade open ravioli, and strawberry rhubarb frozen yogurt. (I wish I had photos, but I was caught up in the whirlwind of cooking, plating, and eating). Amanda got started on the soup, as I put mixed up the ingredients for the yogurt. I worked on the panzanella as she made the dough for the pasta. The afternoon seemed to fly by as we focused on our tasks, sang aloud to Beach House, and our friends started to arrive.

I worked on making a variation of this dish for the first course. I used green garlic instead of red onion. I tossed in radishes instead of the asparagus (we used asparagus in the ravioli). We topped with goat cheese instead of parmesan. The group liked the flavors and textures. The leeks seemed to be the highlight of the dish.

The carrot soup was next and topped with a dollop of yogurt and chives. It was light and springy as the carrots were from the farmer's market and not the bagged kind from the store.

The main entree didn't turn out as well as we would've liked, but it did taste great. The pasta was made with chickpea flour, and it didn't seem to want to stay together when cooked. The noodles were stacked on top of sorrel and wilted greens, and filled with quark and roasted asparagus. Our guests didn't seem to notice the stress we felt in the kitchen, and completely enjoyed the dish.

Last, but certainly not least, was the strawberry rhubarb frozen yogurt. This called for fresh yogurt, cream, sugar, vanilla, rhubarb and strawberries. Wow, was it delicious. The rhubarb departed a subtle tartness that the strawberries complemented with sweetness. Maggie's dessert was a vegan strawberry crisp that we all eyed with envy.

Next time dinner takes place, I will have my camera in hand! 


Roxy Te said...

Bummer on the pictures. This all sounds delicious! I would love to try something with rhubarb, but it sounds so intimidating.

Poke Salad Annie said...


Unknown said...

Hi Rox. I simply chopped and cooked down the rhubarb to go into the yogurt.

But this recipe for a strawberry-rhubarb crisp looks super easy:

natural selection said...

Panzanella! you can never go wrong with I'm sure this was a great success! your food is always refreshing!