23 November, 2010

On the Weekend...

On our dining table -  I love blue & white, and
 all things stripes & spots - some of the festive spirit
of Christmas is creeping into my table displays!

Over the weekend we had invited some old friends over for [a BBQ] lunch, the weather has been fabulous - sunny, clear, warm with a light breeze - just perfect for sitting outside, a few wines and a delicious BBQ lunch. My husband fired up the freshly cleaned BBQ, uncorked the red and popped the champagne as I tried out a few [new] salads 'tomato/basil/bocconcini' & 'warm roasted pumpkin/pine nut/ baby spinach/ fetta', and a side of 'grilled eggplant slices rolled and filled with ricotta-oregano-Spanish onion & shaved Parmesan] and a favourite 'smashed potatoes' with a few things for the 'barby' including pork chipolatas wrapped with prosciutto! Mmmm delicious...
All then followed by a freshly baked ricotta cheesecake from Pasticceria Papa [locate din Haberfield Sydney - infamous for only baking it when fresh ricotta is available and you queue up from first open of shop doors!]. I love the colour of the salads, dishes and the simple setting - so I took a few photos before it all got devoured! I have added the recipes below - for you - if you'd like to give them a try, even I can do them!

Colour on my Table.

Summer Delectable Zest - Tomato, Spanish Onion,
Basil & bocconcini on a bed of Rocket - Salad with
Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Delicious colour - Warm Roasted Pumpkin,
Pine Nut, Baby Spinach & Fetta Salad with
Balsamic Honey Mustard dressing.

A simple outdoor place setting, I love stripe, graphic
prints & combinations of blues, whites, reds,
& neutral shades.

A new side dish - grilled eggplant slices rolled & filled
with ricotta & oregano, topped with shaved Parmesan.

When flowers are spare, I cut some small
branches from my magnolia grandiflora
tree for some fresh green/ bronze foliage,
it worked a treat.

 - Recipes -

Marinated Tomato Salad with Bocconcini
Ingredients (serves 12)
8 (about 1kg) ripe tomatoes, cut into thick wedges
1 x 500g pkt trussed yellow roma tomatoes, cut into thick wedges
125ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
1 tbs finely grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp caster sugar
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 x 500ml btl balsamic vinegar
1 x 180g tub bocconcini, drained, torn in half
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 Spanish Onion [Red onion]

Place tomato, oil, lemon rind and sugar in a bowl, and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight to develop the flavours.
Place the vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes or until reduced to about 160ml (2/3 cup) and vinegar is thick and syrupy (take care during the last 5 minutes as it's easy to burn the vinegar). Set aside to cool.
Place tomato mixture on a serving platter. Top with Spanish onion pieces [cut into strips] bocconcini and sprinkle with basil. Drizzle with balsamic dressing to serve.
Notes - You can prepare this recipe to the end of step 2 up to 1 day ahead. Store the vinegar in an airtight container in the fridge. Continue from step 3 just before serving the main.


Warm Raosted Pumpkin, Fetta, & Baby Spinach salad
Ingredients (serves 6)
600g butternut pumpkin, deseeded, peeled, cut into wedges
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp honey
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs honey, extra
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 x 150g pkt baby spinach leaves
1 x 75g pkt toasted pine nuts
50g Soft Smooth Fetta [Danish style is preferable]

Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pumpkin in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss until the pumpkin is well coated. Place in a single layer on the lined tray. Bake, turning once during cooking, for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with the sesame seeds. Return to oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the seeds are lightly toasted. Remove from oven and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.
Combine the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, mustard and extra honey in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the pumpkin, spinach and pine nuts in a large bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and gently toss until just combined. Crumble Fetta over the top of the salad. Serve immediately.

Notes - Prep: 10 mins (+ 30 mins cooling time)
You can prepare this recipe to the end of step 2 up to 2 hours ahead. Continue from step 3 just before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Well, well, well...Sarah the food stylist as well! How lovely and delicious looking! Yummo!
    From your #1 Fan



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