Weekend Suppers With Friends: Fresh Market Tabbouleh Salad, Seared Lamb Chops With Olive Chimichurri & A Warm Mushroom Salad

November 17, 2014


Tabbouleh Salad
During fall and the holidays, it's all about cozying up and having with friends around our table. We make a fire, text a few friends and start cooking, gathering, and setting up a feast. We take special care in making sure no one goes to a cold house and a lonely dinner. Weekend suppers with friends make the moment during the holidays creating long lasting memories of their own.

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.

Lamb Chops With Olive Chimichurri
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.

Antipasto
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). 
Disclosure- yes, this post is in partnership with Lindsay Olives, but opinions are my own. Mushroom Salad

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Littleneck Clams With Chorizo & Spicy Tomato Gazpacho

November 14, 2014


Clams With Chorizo
It's clear that in the South the weather has no idea how to behave or what to dress for right now. It's ok. I can make pretend for a couple days that this is a prolonged Indian summer just as well as being able to put on a turtleneck or a scarf. I'm always in love with this time of the year especially where I reside now. The colors of Autumn, the brisk change in the air and everyone's behavior to keep cozy is something I truly relish.

The South can be surprising though and after almost 18 years here, I still find myself oscillating. One November day can be in the high 70s and the next can dip to the low 40s. Which is why I rarely rely on the temperatures to cook the seasonal foods I love. I could be waiting a long time to make a hearty pot roast and would never stop making cold soups or ice creams... 

Thus, it's not uncommon for us to have a warm and hearty dish such as these Littleneck Clams With Chorizo and Potatoes one evening and a refreshingly cold Spicy Tomato Gazpacho with a couple of boiled eggs for a light Saturday lunch within the same week.

The South may seem to have its own slower pace but don't be fooled, we're quick to adapt our cooking repertoire when necessary. Just like we keep flip flops and sweaters very close to one another....

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