I know this entry is out of turn, but I have to tell you about last night. Arielle and I hosted Shabbat dinner, and cooked a meal for 25 guests.
I have a headache.
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This was the menu:
Topped with Celery Sorbet
Glazed with honey and poppy seed
With hearts of palm, apples, sugar snap peas and chevre
Chipotle Grain Salad
Wheat Berries, squash, apricots, basil, kale, tarragon, beets, spring onions, chipotle spice, balsamic
Ricotta Dumplings/Vegan (tofu and flax) Dumplings
Served with roasted Aleppos and honey glazed carrots
Snap Crackers and Dip
Whole wheat crackers scented with Fennel served with smoky babaganoush and pea dip
Spinach and Jarlsburg Frittata
Green Potato Salad
Roasted potatoes and green beans smothered in mint pesto straight from our front yard
Massaged Kale Salad
With Roasted Peppers
I think my favorite thing was the Wheat Berry salad. I was attempting to make a barley salad, but all of our grains and flours are in unlabeled jars. I grabbed one that looked like barley, added water and salt, and then I had wheat berries. Hardy wheat berries + tangy vinegar + basil + sweet apricots + spicy chipotle squash = incredible. I’m obsessed with chipotle. Lately, I’ve been putting peaches and chipotle in all my salads.
- 1/2 c dry hard wheat berries (substitute quinoa if desired)
- 5 FRESH apricots (or 2 large peaches*)
- 4 medium yellow summer squash
- Handful fresh basil
- 1 tbs Olive Oil
- Generous dash of Chipotle seasoning
- Generous dash of cayenne or chili
- 1 tbs honey
- 6 tbs aged balsamic vinegar
Bring 4 c water to boil, add wheat berries, cover and simmer for one hour. You may need to add more water throughout. For a quicker cook time, you can soak berries overnight (but it’s not necessary). Drain and rinse. Wheat berries should be hard and chewy.
In the meantime, heat oven to 475. Wash and cut squash into small circles. Coat with mixture of olive oil, salt, chipotle and cayenne spices. Roast until crisp on outside (about 45 min).
Create mixture of balsamic vinegar and honey (and go ahead, add another dash of chipotle!). Cut peaches/apricots into chunks. Chop basil into ribbons. Soak basil and peaches/apricots in balsamic/honey mix until remaining ingredients are ready. When squash is crisp and wheat berries are chewable, let cool and mix with peaches and basil. Enjoy cold/hot/over a bed of spicy arugula.
** I’ve made this dish several times since Shabbat dinner and have found that peaches are out rock apricots. Especially juicy farmers market peaches omg. Another amazing salad discovery is a salad with peaches, avocado, balsamic/honey, fresh basil, lots of chipotle/chili and a small bit of chopped arugula. It’s seriously the best salad I’ve ever created. Soak peaches in balsamic and chipotle overnight for an extra punch. Don’t worry, the avocado cools it down so creamily. Holy cow.
The gazpacho wasn’t great. I think because I kept wanting it to be a bloody mary instead of a soup. I made the sorbet by pureeing celery, pear, and caraway seed in my vitamix, and then freezing it in an ice tray. I pureed the celery ice cubes, and the texture was perfect sorbet. Next time I make bloody marys, I’m using celery ice cubes. Best. discovery. ever.
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 green apple
- sprinkle of carraway seeds
Puree all ingredients in food processor and pour puree into ice tray. Plop into bloody marys.
Freeze. After frozen, release back into food processor and puree. Viola – a creamy sorbet! Perfect for topping off gazpacho!
Below are some photos from our preparations. Thank God neither of us works on Fridays