A couple nights ago I hosted a summer’s feast on the back porch, here in Vancouver, B.C. The weather has been hot, but the temperature is almost always perfect around suppertime…which means many meals outside.
Friends from all over the world joined: Korea, Singapore, France and Canada. The menu was mostly Mediterranean, with some last minute Korean-snack additions (brought by my Korean friends!) Dinner consisted of Focaccia, Marinated Carrots, Roasted Garbanzo beans with Kale, a Spanish Tortilla, Barbecued Maple Salmon, Lentil and Ancient Grain-Stuffed Peppers and a Salad made from fresh Garden Greens. Drinks were Iced Green Tea with Mint, Sangria and Beer.
The focaccia was the star of the meal. I used my regular recipe, but switched the toppings according to what I had on hand: dried figs (rehydrated by adding water and microwaving for 20ish seconds), Kale (marinated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar), Zucchini, fresh Tomatoes, Fresh Basil and Parmesan.
The marinated carrots were simple:
1 pound Carrots, peeled and cut into two inch slices (about 1/3 inch thick)
2 tablespoons olive oils
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
handful of chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper
Steam carrots for 10 minutes. While they’re steaming, combine remaining ingredients in a bowl. Pour the marinade on the carrots while they’re still hot, toss, and chill in the refrigerator before serving.
Like the Focaccia, this Spanish Tortilla is a recipe that I make frequently, especially when I have vegetarians over for dinner. The eggs, potatoes and onions are always the same. This particular tortilla also included sweet potatoes (yams), fresh garden greens (chopped broccoli leaves and arugula), and melted cheddar.
Salt and freshly-ground Pepper
The Garbanzos and Kale should be in roughly equal proportions, though it doesn’t matter too much. You can use tinned beans, or prepare the dried kind ahead of time by soaking and boiling them until they’re soft. Take the Garbanzos and place them in a baking dish with a good splash of olive oil, salt and pepper. Cut up Kale stems and add them to Garbanzo. Mix. Heat oven to high, around 450 degrees, and let beans cook for about 20 minutes. While they’re cooking, chop Kale leaves roughly. Turn heat down to about 350, add Kale leaves, and cook for at least another 20 minutes. Kale should be crispy, the garbanzos as well, though a bit of chew is nice as well. If necessary, add more olive oil. Serve warm.
The Korean Snacks were things I had never tried before. Both were made from puffed rice and were both salty and sweet. The first ones were chewy and much sweeter. The second ones were like spicy, sweet cheetos…even more, they were like the wheat-based Chicharron you see all over Mexico….but much more delicious!
p.s. Thanks to my friend Raelle for the photos. Next time I’ll keep my camera on hand so I won’t have to use cell phone photos! I’ve not been particularly good at updating the blog as of late, but am getting back into the swing of things!