Mograbieh pilaf with harissa-roasted summer squash, fresh peas, cherries, chermoula, labneh, and toasted pistachios
But around the world people purchase and eat produce that’s grown locally and freshly harvested. So why don’t we see more of those cuisines represented at these so-called farm-to-table restaurants?
We hadn't had anyone over for dinner since Thanksgiving, so I decided that it was time to not only change that, but also put to rest this modern American farm-to-table business.
I was raised eating Indian food so I can't help but use the flavors and spices from that cuisine in much of what I make. And although I didn't eat much of it when I was younger, Middle Eastern cuisine is one which I love, its flavors and ingredients often similar to those in Indian food but different enough to make it distinct.
Armed with these flavors, I created a menu based on the items in last week's CSA share as well as whatever looked good at the Union Square Greenmarket on Friday.
|Tiny summer squash|
We had six of our friends over last night, and with the AC blasting and the wine freely flowing, we devoured this menu.
Items from our CSA share are italicized and items from the greenmarket are in bold.
Cocktails: Pimm's cup, cherry-bourbon smash
Other drinks: Sixpoint Bengali Tiger IPA (possibly my favorite beer) and lots of rose wine
Snacks: Garam masala mixed nuts, summer veggie bhajji (roasted beets, sugar snap peas, and summer squash coated with chickpea flour and deep fried) served with tamarind-date and cilantro-jalapeno chutneys
|Greenmarket vegetable bhajji: sugar snap peas, summer squash, and roasted beets |
coated with chickpea flour batter and deep-fried
|Tamarind-date and cilantro-jalapeno chutneys|
First course: Moroccan lettuce soup (romaine lettuce, potato, and scallions with ras el hanout) with ras el hanout-toasted chickpeas and lemon cream (unfortunately, we scarfed this down before I could get a picture...oops).
|A rainbow of beets: white, golden, chioggia, and standard-issue red|
Second course: roasted beet karamadu (South Indian stir-fried vegetables with mustard seeds, urad dal, and coconut) with radish-cilantro raita and rainbow radishes
|Roasted beet karamadu with radish-cilantro raita and rainbow radishes|
Third course: Mograbieh (Lebanese couscous) pilaf with harissa-roasted summer squash, fresh peas, cherries, chermoula, lemon-pickled sunchokes, labneh, and toasted pistachios
Fourth course: Honey-labneh frozen yogurt with mint cake, Tristar strawberries macerated with mint, Aleppo pepper, and pomegranate molasses, strawberry-rosewater coulis, and toasted almond shortbread crumble
The mountain of dishes that resulted from this meal was worth it - there's nothing quite like a wonderful meal shared with even better friends.
A big thanks to Foodbuzz for sponsoring this as part of their 24x24 program!