Here is the dinner that came out of our visit to the Boston Local Food Festival! We went in with no plan, came home with a random assortment of ingredients and created a 4 course fall dinner that consumed the majority of Saturday night. Everyone helped out and played some role in cooking / thinking up the menu. I have no definitive measurements or ingredients because everyone was helping out with everything, so think of this dinner as fall inspiration…
- Heirloom Tomatoes
- Mixed Greens
- Cloumage from Shy Brothers Farm
- Mozzerella from Fiore di Nonno
- Haddock from Yankee Lobster down the street
- Wine – not local, very necessary
Pre-First Course: Cabot Clothbound Cheddar
Just because it’s perfect.
First Course: Heirloom Tomato Salad with a Beet Vinaigrette
This was my idea. I’m obsessed with tomatoes, especially heirlooms and this was the biggest heirloom tomato I have ever held, (approximately size of a small child) so I had to get it, obviously.
coolest heirloom, ever
Now what do you do with a huge heirloom tomato? Just add cheese, duh. Mozzarella from Fiore di Nonno to be exact. We served this with a beet vinaigrette, which was really fun because any tomato / mozzarella combo is ALWAYS served with balsamic vinaigrette. Don’t get me wrong, balsamic is my religion, but it was cool to switch it up and use the beets!
Second Course: Toasted Bread with Fig Jam and Honey Cloumage
This course was all Erika’s idea, and what a good one it was! We used the figs to make a fig jam, and added honey to the Cloumage (cheese that is very similar in texture and taste to ricotta, although slightly more flavorful). It came together so well, the tangyness of the cheese mixed with the sweetness of the honey and figs was awesome. I love figs. Figgy, fig, fig here they go, down into my belly. NOM.
Drink: Mulled Wine
Mulled (hot) wine is so good. I got into it when I was studying abroad in Prague. They sold it on the streets during the winter and you could smell the cinnamon from a mile away. We used this recipe to make the hot wine, and went a little heavy on the brandy. If there is one drink that will get you in the mood for fall, its mulled wine. It will make your house smell like the streets of Prague in the Winter, and that is definitely not a bad thing. All you need is wine, orange zest, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and brandy and you have yourself a hot cup of joy.
o hai (that’s me waving)
Third Course: Apple, Walnut and Beet Salad with Beet Vinaigrette
The salad is the work of Tom, my soon to be Top Chef brother, and it was a crowd pleaser! This salad is so easy to make and it says fall just like a pumpkin patch or a pile of leaves. Wait, what? Just boil beets, take the skin off, cut them up and add lettuce, apples, walnuts and some shallots! Not only is the flavor combination great, but the texture combination is interesting as well, its seriously awesome and HEALTHY! We used the same beet vinaigrette we made for the heirloom tomato salad.
Fourth Course: Haddock with Leek Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Beet Greens
We chose Haddock as the main course. We all happened to be in the mood for white fish, and when they were all out of halibut, we went to plan B. Tom had the idea of serving it with beet greens and leek mashed potatoes, and we all agreed without ever trying beet greens before. If Tom told us to eat a tire we probably would. We started off by sautéing the leeks with butter salt and pepper and the beet greens with butter, shallots, and beef stock. Then we made mashed potatoes, mixed in the leeks, added the Haddock, topped everything with the beet greens and served. The beet greens turned out to be a similar texture to spinach, but with a bitter, earthier taste, everyone was a huge fan.
And there you have it, a dinner party for the record books!
Let me know if you want any more information on how to make any of this stuff, I would be happy to give a rough outline of what we did.
Next fall endeavor: apple pie, FROM SCRATCH. There, I wrote it so now I have to do it. Baking scares me.