I was invited to attend the Herbivoracious Book Launch downtown next week and thought I would share some of my own tried and true recipes in honor of the celebration! I am so excited to check out the amazing recipes and meet the author, Michael Natkin. Check out his blog, Herbivoracious for inspiring menu options!
“Michael Natkin has assembled a book full of meatless recipes that are smart, modern, and truly satisfying for both vegetarians and omnivores alike.” – Caroline Russock, Serious Eats
I love to entertain even though I am often short on time and energy. My theory is to create at least ONE outstanding item, whether it be an amazing appetizer, memorable main dish or delectable dessert.
I grow my own vegetables and herbs in my organic raised garden and try to use my home-grown produce as inspiration for my appetizer menu:
Caprese Pita Pockets
This appetizer was inspired by a recipe from Bite by Bite. Caprese is ideal for the summer: it brings out the flavors of your garden-fresh tomatoes and basil.
I used the mini pita pockets available at Trader Joe’s, and stuffed them with cherry tomatoes, basil, quartered bocconcini (mozzarella), high quality olive oil and salt & pepper. I then created a balsamic reduction in a sauce pan and drizzled it over the top immediately prior to serving.
Beer Cheese Fondue
Fondue is a great interactive appetizer, and it one of the few that stays warm throughout the evening! As a rule, I refuse to make hot appetizers unless they are in a crock pot, on a warmer plate or in a fondue pot. This is the cornerstone of our Oktoberfest party. Make sure to use a high quality cheese and strong brew! You can serve this with a crudite platter with vegetables from your garden- carrots, zucchini, sugar snap peas, radishes, cucumber, grape tomatoes…the list goes on! Snag the recipe here.
Mini Caesar Salad Bites
This turned out to be a hit! I also served this at the wedding shower as an appetizer, but think it would be lovely as individual salads. Lettuce is easy to grow in your garden- you don’t have to stick to Romaine for this recipe, so mix it up! Grab the recipe here.
And now for the non-garden variety Desserts….
Boston Cream Pie Shots
Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of this, but they turned out AMAZING. I created this concept for a wedding shower for our very close friends who met in Boston. I used chocolate shot glasses similar to these:
I then added vanilla pudding to fill, then topped off with a circular piece of yellow cake (made a sheet cake and cut a circle with a shot glass) drizzled with chocolate and topped with whipped cream.
Triple Chocolate Mousse
THIS dessert is heaven, and chocolate mousse is a lot more simple to make than it looks! You do have to create three separate batches but the presentation is worth it. Make sure to serve in your best champagne glasses with a long-handled dessert spoon. I served this at a wine pairing- perfect to pair with an excellent wine! I purchased a set of ornate antique silver dessert spoons on eBay specifically for this dessert:
As always, I love to have a theme for any party I throw! Whether it be a geographical region (think tapas & sangria) or a color scheme, it definitely gets your guests in a festive mood! Party on.