Global dining can be an adventure, without having to leave your city, or in this case, your home. Nourish hosted a global dinner for four, that took us from the United States to Italy and Morocco, then on to France.
ARUGULA & CURLY LEAF LETTUCE SALAD
Homemade dressings are a snap, and much better for you, without the preservatives found in store-bought. Here, we mixed the crunch of curly leaf, with the pepperiness of arugula, topping it simply with cherry tomatoes, and a dressing made of extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, minced garlic and agave. To tie it in with the roasted chicken, we also micro-diced the same preserved lemon used there. We shared the recipe for how to preserve your own lemons at home, in our fifth issue, and have posted it online for your ongoing reference. www.nourishfoodmag.com
In 4 colors, this farfalle - meaning butterfly in Italian - has a special beauty. To not distract from that inherent beauty, we dressed it simply with extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, and a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
There are more than 300 shapes of dried pasta, and multiple variations on each shape. Gran - grand or large, in Italian - is a large version of this pasta shape we already know and love in chicken noodle soups across America. We wanted to make a statement with this dish, so we used gran fusilli - close to 4 times the size of the one we’re used to seeing. For the sauce, we combined traditional marinara with pesto - the basil, garlic, olive oil and pecorino sauce, that usually stands beautifully on its own. In this combination, it’s a deeper, richer, more robust sauce than either of them are on their own.
ROASTED CHICKEN with PRESERVED LEMON
Roasted chicken is such a truly comforting dish, and it can also be sophisticated, too. In a Moroccan version, with the addition of preserved lemon, which is a North African staple, and cinnamon sticks, it elevates this dish. Rubbed with olive oil and salt before going into the oven, and then sprinkled with Savory Spice Shop’s Park Hill Pepper blend when it comes out, it’s a dinner party win.
Served in their own individual ramekins, creme brulee is a luxury, and an elegant way to end a meal. Breaking the browned, sugary crust, then dipping your spoon into the cool, creamy custard, is a sensory delight. Not to mention a delicious one.
Global is a theme, and you can also make color your theme. Here we did both, selecting the color blue. The serving board, for pre-dinner snacks, was edged in blue. The table was set with blue and white striped, seersucker napkins. Plates were floral, with half of the plate in a shaded blue, from Anthropologie. Individual bottles of La Marca Prosecco - with their gorgeous, distinctive light blue label, sat at each place setting. When the guest sat down, they were immediately given something to do to break the ice - or shall we say, the cork - and opening their own bottle was a fun, festive treat. A blue and white Spanish pitcher sat on the table, with still water, and the green glass of the Pellegrino bottle, with the blue on its label, offered a sparkling option, while also adding color. Candles wove in and out of the dinner plates and platters, adding warmth and specialness.
Speaking of global, there’s a company called Global Grub that makes clever, pre-packaged kits to help making putting together this type of meal a snap. Great for dinner parties, and also date nights. They make fun gifts for the food lovers on your list too [Christmas and Hanukkah are coming!]. Kits include: Jerk Chicken and Coconut Rice, Pad Thai, Tikka Masala and Rice, Tagine and Couscous, Sushi, and Tamales [seasonal; around this time of year]. You can find them at Sur La Table and online at Amazon.