Everyone is relaxed and ready to extend the weekend by a few hours nestled around a table filled with good food and conversation. Meals vary depending on the mood but a few sure ingredients remain the same, by heritage or taste. Charcuterie, good crusty breads, nibbles of cheese and olives, fish or grilled meats and plenty of fresh and colorful sides. And if you are invited to our house, you know there will be olives involved.
One recent Sunday afternoon, we decided to gather new friends and have an olive themed dinner. Sundays are definitely meant for cozy dinners. A last hooray before the week starts all over again.
Any gathering we host start with an antipasto tray revolving around a few good cured meats, some burrata or other cheese, pickles, seasonal fruits, green and black olives of sort. My favorites remaining kalamata, tiny shriveled oil cured or plump marinated black olives and pickled garlic stuffed green olives. I am the one eating olives like they are M&Ms. That's where my heritage shows through. Provence is never far away from any dish I cook.
We followed with pan seared lamb chops with kalamata chimichurri sauce, a colorful market fresh tabbouleh salad with black olives, heirloom tomatoes, persimons, cucumber, radishes and thinly sliced red onions. All dressed in a creamy parsley vinaigrette. My favorite of the evening was a warm mushroom salad with olives and thyme filled with lobster mushrooms, chanterelles and portobello mushrooms. So so good. I want to make it again with a poached egg on top for a simple weeknight dinner or brunch.
Laughs. Good food and wine. Plenty of stories to go around is how I love spending a weekend evening. It doesn't matter whether our friends are good cooks and want to participate. We just like to get together and share stories and memories around a good meal. If you have an anecdote at the ready, there is definitely a plate awaiting you at our table!
How do you enjoy some down time with friends and foods during the busy holiday season? Curious minds (mine!) want to know! Enjoy the recipes below and please share with me and Lindsay Olives what makes your holiday moments special and enter their holiday sweepstakes (link here).