Since we’re leaving for Seattle on Friday (and because we like their company), we invited some friends over to help us eat our vegetables and fruit.

Last Night’s Dinner Menu:

  • Juice & Seltzer (thanks to the Hsus, I wonder I never discovered this sooner)
  • Babaghanoush with crudites of green bell pepper and terrachips
  • Summer squash sauteed with tomatoes, onions and basil (accompanied with pasta)
  • Whole baked fish (Black Sea Bass and Blackfish) stuffed with lemon and leeks, and encrusted in… salt
  • Arugula salad with cherry tomatoes, strawberries, walnuts and goat cheese
  • Bowl of donut peaches and nectarines

I think when I planned this meal, I wasn’t entirely thinking straight. I think I was so consumed with using up all the produce that I didn’t consider whether the recipes I found would actually be appealing. I guess I just relied too much on people’s ratings of the recipes, without taking into account personal tastes. I mean, everything was palatable, but I think I really should have rethought the fish.

New furniture layout and table setting to accomodate a party of 8

chopped and sliced CSA vegetables

(the only produce I store-bought was the arugula and strawberries)

veggies being sauteed and delicious stone fruit

tons of encrusted sea salt after the fish was removed

plate of food

1) The babaghanoush. I usually don’t like babaghanoush, except for maybe two times, where it was just the perfect blend of flavors. Grace used her eggplant from last week to make an amazing babaghanoush. Mine was ok, but I think if I ever have another eggplant, I’ll ask for her recipe.

2) The Fish. Encrusted in salt – really? Weber seemed to really like it, but I think everyone else was just… eating it because it was on their plate, myself included. It. Was. Just. So. Salteeey! If I had been actually thinking through the recipe, I would have foreseen this problem… sigh.

3) The summer squash was good, but I think I added too much pasta, which was a concern of mine before making the dish, but then in the midst of cooking I stopped thinking about that for some reason. It made the dish a bit bland, which actually was a nice respite from the intense saltiness of the fish. I like that I got to put fresh basil into this dish, but next time would add it later, so the taste doesn’t get all cooked away since it simmers for 20 minutes.

4) The salad. I liked it! I had intended to put wedges of nectarines in the salad but then realized slicing strawberries was much easier than halving, seeding and cutting nectarines. I made a red wine vinaigrette instead of my usual lemon vinaigrette, which was good, but that lemon vinaigrette is just so excellent. And, anything is wonderful when you can add goat cheese to it!

5) Peaches & Nectarines. Nothing simpler than just washing and serving. 🙂 Yum! Carrie also made some homemade chocolate covered toffee and brought some ice cream. Excellent end to the meal.

Thanks friends for being polite and spending an evening with us! I kind of felt like Ina Gartner or Giada prepping and cooking for friends. 🙂

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