Posts Tagged ‘salad with pears’

Spectacular Dinner Parties

They don’t happen too often, but when they do, SHABAM! Things are magical. A few good friends of mine from a past internship with the Office of the Governor Deval Patrick decided we needed to have a reunion party.  At first we attempted to picnic on the Common, and Beuks got stuck on the train.  There were parties, but we all couldn’t attend the same ones, so we kept trying. Finally, Ethan was able to host a dinner party at his lovely apartment (which for various reasons, he doesn’t live in anymore. Okay that makes him sound shady – he’s starting a farm! No, really…) and we all decided to help cook!

On the menu:

Homemade Garlic Bread

  • 2 ft. long French Baguette or Italian loaf, first sliced lengthwise and then in sectioned
  • Butter – Ethan had Smart Balance on hand, which is actually what I use regularly.
  • 1 head of garlic at least, mince enough to sprinkle properly over all the bread
  • Dried or fresh basil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Slice the bread, mince the garlic, chop the basil (if it’s fresh)
  3. Spread butter over the bread and sprinkle the garlic over it OR melt butter and mix in the garlic, then pour over the bread
  4. Top with dried basil
  5. Place on a cookie sheet in the oven until the edges are golden brown.

Homemade Salad

  • Spinach leaves
  • Pears
  • Avocado
  • Gorgonzola
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette
  1. Toss together desired proportions of each.

Vegetarian Pesto Cream Lasagna

  • 1 pound fresh spinach
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup pesto
  • 2 pounds ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 9 Lasagna noodles (you should have an extra couple on hand, too)
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese
  • Extra olive oil for the top
  1. Clean and stem the spinach, chop it very fine (use a food processor if possible)
  2. Sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil, over low/medium heat, until soft.
  3. Stir the raw spinach into the hot onions and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add half the parmesan cheese, the pesto and the ricotta and grind in some pepper, salt.
  5. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Boil noodles briefly (three to four minutes), drain, drizzle with remaining olive oil.
  7. Place a layer of noodles in bottom of oiled 9X13” pan. Spread one-third of the filling over noodles. Place one-third of the mozzarella over that. More noodles.
  8. Repeat until you have six layers: three of noodles, three of pesto mix, with the pesto mix on top.
  9. Top the final layer of pesto mix with remaining parmesan and drizzle with olive oil.
  10. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serves 6-8.

Vegetarian Marinara Lasagna

Thanks, Ethan!!

ETS’s Vegetarian Rouge Lasagna (He invented this one)

  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and
  • squeezed of excess liquid
  • 1 container (15 – 16 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 12-16 Trader Joe’ s Meatless Meatballs
  1. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, but do not salt the water.
  2. While noodles are cooking, preheat oven to 350 and start cooking the ‘ meatballs’. To cook the ‘ meatballs’ ,combine ‘ meatballs’ with 10-12 ounces of tomato sauce in a saucepan. Put the heat on low and stir occasionally until ‘ meatballs’ are softened all of the way through and have become saturated with sauce. Take a large fork or spatula and mash the ‘ meatballs.’
  3. Grease a 13X9 inch baking dish with olive oil, set aside. In a small bowl, combine tomato sauce, garlic, and oregano. Mix well.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine broccoli, TJ’ s Meatless Meatballs, ricotta, and Parmesan. Mix well. Drain noodles.
  5. Spread half a cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.
  6. Place 3 noodles on top of the sauce. Spread half of broccoli mixture over noodles. Spoon 1/2 cup of tomato sauce over broccoli; place 3 noodles on top.
  7. Spread with remaining broccoli mixture; top with 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. Top with remaining noodles and tomato sauce; sprinkle mozzarella over top.
  8. Bake until bubbling, about 45 minutes.
  9. Cool about 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Red and White Wine

  • Cabernet Sauvignon (I think that’s what we had.)
  • Pinot Grigio

Me, mincing an insane amount of garlic for our insane amount of garlic bread:

gaaaaaaaaarlicbread

Beuks, buttering up the garlic bread and Meg, making an awesome salad with pears and such:

megsandbeuks

Ethan was taking the pictures – for some reason, we didn’t think to do a group shot, or take pictures of the lasagna 😦

All in all, it was a great experience, especially with the awesome company.

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