Sundays are my leisurely cooking days, so I usually try to create a 3-course meal for us to linger over on Sunday evenings. Last night was no exception. We enjoyed our first and second courses at our kitchen bar and then sat down to the main event at our dining room table surrounded by candles. A heavenly way to wrap up a weekend.
Squash on Toast: Really? Smooshed up squash slathered on toast? Yes! This appetizer sounds as boring as can be, but trust me, it’s utterly delicious. The last time we served it at a dinner party, people went nuts and it disappeared fast. Try it. It takes very little effort and yields wonderful results.
Fennel and avocado salad with horseradish dressing and pancetta-wrapped dates stuffed with mascarpone: This was an experiment for our upcoming Supper Club as I am charged with developing a dish using avocados, horseradish and mascarpone. I have to say my horseradish dressing was wonderful and it will now be a recipe staple for us. My mascarpone-stuffed dates, however, were a complete failure. I tried one stuffed with plain mascarpone — had to spit it out. Tried another stuffed with mascarpone and lemon rind — spit that out too. The final version (stuffed with mascarpone, lemon rind and horseradish) also ended up partially chewed inside my napkin. They were all unbelievably unpleasant and cloying. I knew the date and mascarpone combo had the potential to be disgustingly sweet, but I was hopeful the salty bacon and bracing horseradish dressing would provide a good foil. Alas, I was wrong. Complete failure. Oh well, at least I now have a fabulous go-to horseradish dressing for salads.
Roasted chicken with grapes: Not much beats a Sunday roast chicken. The slowly caramelized grapes provide an unusual hit of sweetness. I adore this simple dish.