perfect hot summer night dinner party
Photograph by Japhet Alvarez
This weekend I had a group of dear friends in for dinner and served a fantastic, relaxed menu that took very little time to prepare but tasted and looked divine. Since nearly everything could be prepared in advance I had a chance to drink some champagne and enjoy the party. The leftovers were pretty fabulous the following night too.
Here’s the menu ~
Wafer thin sliced hot Italian salami and a gorgeous creamy blue vein Italian cheese – Gran Bavarese (my current favourite cheese). Served with thinly sliced focaccia.
Maple-glazed barbecued salmon
Tuscan bean and artichoke salad (From A Taste of Wintergreen)
Organic greens with pomegranate and sunflower seeds in a balsamic vinaigrette
Roasted Red Potato Salad with avocados and baby tomatoes (From A Taste of Wintergreen)
Olive and Rosemary Sourdough from our beautiful local bakery – Pan Chancho
Vodka Berry Sorbet with raspberries and pouring cream (From A Taste of Wintergreen). *Recipe below!*
Dark chocolate cereal squares – a no-bake recipe – perfect for summer entertaining
Vodka Berry Sorbet
You don’t need to heat up your kitchen to make this glamorous summer dessert. The recipe calls for 4 cups of frozen mixed berries and I often make it with frozen berries but this time I substituted 454 grams (or 1 lb) of fresh, organic strawberries and 1 cup of frozen, wild blueberries. It turned out perfectly.
4 cups of frozen mixed berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)
1 over-ripe banana
3-4 ounces of vodka
2 -3 tbsp sugar (icing sugar, white sugar, brown sugar, honey) IF REQUIRED
fresh raspberries and mint leaves to garnish, and un-whipped, heavy cream on the side to pour over as desired
Combine berries, banana, and vodka in the food processor. Whizz until smooth-ish. Taste it to check for sweetness and add sugar if necessary. Freeze for several hours. Remove from freezer after a couple of hours of freezing and whip with electric beater (I often forget or neglect this step but doing it will result in a slightly creamier texture). Fifteen minutes before serving, remove sorbet from freezer to let thaw slightly. Serve in small wine glasses (finally a use for all those old, too-small wineglasses), garnished with fresh berries and mint leaves if you have them. Put out a small jug with some thick pouring cream for those who can stand the lactose and want the extra calories!