Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Eat Global, Buy Local
That's the theme of my ladies gourmet night tonight. Inspired by a book my sister bought me years ago on a trip to New York (The All Around the World Cookbook by Sheila Lukins), and the abundance of incredible produce available locally right now, I settled on a menu of dishes from around the Mediterranean, created using what is fresh right here, right now. It's not a stretch. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, zucchini, peppers, peaches and more... All in available right now.
The book has inspired me ever since I first opened it. There are no glossy pages full of food porn type images. Instead there are stories. Wonderful stories. Stories of breakfasts eaten around the world, of a dizzying array of appetizers and soups and salads, of a myriad of ways to prepare meats and seafood, each inspired by a specific memory of a wonderful place... I freely admit that I pick this book up often, just to read it.
So after thumbing through the pages and browsing the internet, I settled on my menu. There are 8 ladies coming. Each brings a course. Appetizer, soup, salad, main, two sides, dessert and, in tonight's case, a cheese plate (instead of a bread course, as there is crostini with the appetizer). Here is the menu...
I like that the menu expands the Mediterranean from just Italy, Greece, France and Spain to include northern African and Turkish recipes. I am really looking forward to trying each of the dishes. The slathers come from France and Greece, and are more like thick spreads than dips. They are meant to be "slathered" over the toasted crostini.
Now if only the weather cooperates. We'll be dining al fresco under the gazebo on our new patio. So long as we don't get rained on, stormed on or blown over. Otherwise we'll be crowding around a table at a friend's house, since I do not currently have the space to serve 9 in my own home.