Weekend Eats (and Drinks)

This was one of those weekends that was kinda perfect. We had beautiful weather, great times with friends, and of course, great food.

There was so much to choose from at the farmers’ market Saturday morning, with corn, blueberries, potatoes and hardneck garlic all making their first appearance, and an abundance of favas, heirloom tomatoes, and other summer goodies, that it was very, very hard to exercise restraint, but we tried.

produce inspector

Okay, maybe we weren’t terribly successful, but hey – a good friend from New York was coming to town, so rather than meeting somewhere for dinner, we invited her over to help us work through some of our bounty.

This was one of the best things I ate all weekend. I love fava beans, and I’ve had my eye on a recipe in Sunday Suppers at Lucques for a while now – a puree of favas, served with feta and olives and garlicky toasts – so I put my own spin on it.

As Suzanne does, I gently stewed my shelled favas in olive oil with garlic and chile and summer savory in place of the rosemary in the original recipe, then I whizzed them in the food processor. My twist was to add a dollop of fresh ricotta in place of some of the olive oil, and instead of serving an olive-feta salad on top of the puree, I spread the mixture on grilled slices of Seven Stars’ olive stick and sprinkled a bit of flaky sea salt on top. Bliss.

Our main course was grilled lamb skewers with a lemon-garlic scape sauce for dipping, creamy white beans and heirloom tomatoes with feta and mint, all washed down with a smoky Spanish red.

Ramos Gin Fizz

Mike’s gearing up for Tales of the Cocktail later this week, and as such he has been mixing a lot of the classics, one of which was this delicious and incredibly refreshing Ramos Gin Fizz to go with our Sunday brunch of steak and eggs.

The thing about egg white drinks, though, is that you’re left with leftover yolks. But I couldn’t very well let these beauties go to waste. What to do…

My creation

I whisked those yolks and olive oil into an aioli, which became the base for a dressing for coleslaw, which as a general rule, I don’t like.

This time was different.

Dinner: July 13, 2008

As Mike reminded me, cole slaw doesn’t *have* to be bad, it’s really all about using super fresh ingredients and making sure the veggies and dressing are in balance. Which I think I achieved. The slaw had a nice amount of crunch, and the dressing had a bit of richness from the aioli but was still light and zippy from the addition of fresh garlic, dijon mustard and champagne vinegar. It was good – surprisingly so – and as a matter of fact I just polished off a big helping for lunch. Yum.

8 thoughts on “Weekend Eats (and Drinks)

  1. You have me headed out to look for fave now! I love them too. But I’m very lazy when it comes to shelling them. And I agree about coleslaw. It doesn’t have to be goop :-)

    And ay, lamb skewers…

  2. miranda says:

    love that fava bean recipe! i am currently, along with a good friend, cooking my way through Sunday Suppers – it is a time consuming but worthwile challenge!

  3. I’ve never tried fava beans. I’ll trust your blissful opinion and maybe give them a shot.

    Steve and I are the same way about coleslaw. Most times it just isn’t good, at all. But I am making my own tonight, with fish and chips. Not going for that kind of base, but definitely a lighter dressing. Most slaw is half mayo/half other ingredients. Bleah.

    Glad you had a nice weekend!

  4. Gaye says:

    Jennifer….I’ve been reading your site for a few months now. I love it! I love to cook! My problem? I’m a picky eater. Just. Picky. Picky to the point that I did not like mashed potatoes until I was in my late 20s. I still hate eggs, but can cook them well.

    How did you and your hubby develop your palates? Have you any advice?

    Thanks…
    gaye

  5. Sara says:

    Your bike picture has me sighing blissfully and SO wishing for your life.

    The tomatoes and the beans look AMAZING. (The lamb does, too, but I am consistently impressed at your legume-and-vegetable offerings.) :)

  6. Jennifer Hess says:

    Marie – I just try to remember how briefly they’re around as my fingers cramp up from shelling them ;)

    miranda – Wow, are you guys blogging it somewhere? That’s quite a task you’ve taken on, but a very rewarding one, I’m sure!

    melissa – I love them. I’m going to encourage you to try them if you can find them fresh. :D

    MsKira – the pleasure was all ours!

    Tommy – I wish I could! I almost never follow a recipe when I cook; if anything, I use them as a jumping off point and then do my own thing. tasting and tweaking as I go. Maybe I need to hire a kitchen assistant? :)

    Gaye – I think we just got to a point in our lives where we wanted to be fearless – try anything once, and not limit ourselves to the familiar. There’s certainly nothing wrong with tried-and-true dishes, but it’s exciting to try something new, or try a new spin on an old favorite. And there’s nothing wrong with taking baby steps! If you dine out and have the option of a chef’s tasting menu (and you have the budget for it), try it – you may not love every course, but you’ll be exposed to lots of flavors and will likely find something new that you enjoy. Good luck!

    Sara – Aw, thanks. :)

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