This dish pretty much sucked. It wasn’t anything I would spit out or toss in the trash, but I certainly wouldn’t make it again and I am so not looking forward to the leftovers. Don’t try this one at home. There are so many other swoon-worthy Indian dishes that take less time and are far more rewarding.
Oh well, can’t win them all. We had a delightful fresh salad, however, which was brimming with Farmer’s Market fruits and vegetables.
Summer Salad with Peaches
First Course: Watermelon & Peach Gazpacho with Blue Cheese:
This was weirdly good. Ho-hum without the blue cheese, but surprisingly delicious with the addition of cheese and fresh tarragon. This would be a beautiful and refreshing first course for a summer dinner party.
Main Course: Coffee-Marinated Steak, Fresh Corn & Caponata:
Delicious Summer Meal
Wow was this ever simple and delicious. Roasting tomatoes is marvelously simple and so good I just want to eat the whole pan with a spoon. But I didn’t. I plan to make these tomatoes all summer long with bushels of Farmer’s Market tomatoes. I will spoon them over bread, spread them on sandwiches, sprinkle them over roast pork and serve them with fresh cheese. Yum!
I also highly recommend making a vat of basil oil to keep in the fridge. If you are swimming in fresh basil, this is a great way to use it up. Drizzle the oil over cheese and tomatoes, on omelets, fresh fish … you name it.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Fill a medium bowl with ice water. Place 2 to 3 cups fresh basil in the boiling water and blanch for 15 seconds. Remove with a skimmer and transfer to the ice water. Drain and squeeze out excess water, then place on a clean dish towel and again squeeze out as much water as you can. Place the basil in a blender with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Blend one to two minutes until the olive oil is green and tinged with flecks of basil. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and refrigerate. (Recipe adapted from the NYT)
I served the chicken with a side of caponata full of fresh eggplant, green peppers and onions. The addition of capers, green olives, raisins and pine-nuts makes this incredibly flavorful.
Cacio e Pepe (cheese & pepper) pasta is just perfect. I usually use just high quality extra virgin olive oil instead of butter and always use fresh pasta. This dish makes me deliriously happy.
Cacio e Pepe