Saturday, June 02, 2012

Italian dinner

We had some new friends from our new ward over for dinner last night. I loved the meal I made so much! I have started accumulating some fantastic recipes since I really started cooking (and taking it seriously) when we got married. All three of the recipes I use lat night are keepers, and I'm sure I'll include them in the regular rotation for years to come.

We had Lemon Zucchini Fusilli, which is this incredibly light pasta dish. It's this perfect mixture of lemon zest, zucchini, garlic, onion, flat-leaf parsley, and fresh rosemary, topped with a bit of Parmesan and mozzarella. It's one of Kimball's favorites.

We also had toasted baguette slices and whole wheat French bread (whole wheat! I'd never seen that in a store before!) with a cannellini bean dip and bruschetta.

The dip felt like an Italian hummus, which is not a problem at all for me. It's so flavorful and so delicious! It's made with white beans, fresh basil, garlic, olive oil. It spreads so beautifully onto bread. The recipe I used recommended using crostini, but I think it's best on soft bread.

The bruschetta was a tried and true recipe that we've made many times. If you haven't had bruschetta (i recently met someone who hasn't... tragedy) it's like an Italian salsa. We are a little bit obsessed with it. It's simple, and totally addictive. It just Roma tomatoes, red onion, garlic, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and this time I added pine nuts. This one's best on slightly toasted bread - crispy on the edges but a little soft inside, or just eaten with a spoon right out of the bowl.

I noticed as I was putting my little photo collages together that our meal had three parts and our desert did, too, and that they each contained the same three colors: red, yellow, and white.

Our desert was not a desert in the typical sense, but it was equally as satisfying and delicious. It's almost like ice cream or sorbet, but way healthier. My mom made it over Memorial Day weekend, and we loved it. Hers contained these four ingredients: coconut milk, pineapple, banana, and vanilla. You blend them up and freeze it, and it's fantastic! I experimented a little, and made one pineapple batch, one mango batch, and one raspberry batch. They all had slightly different textures (mango's my favorite), and raspberry was a little tart but fantastic! I recommend trying them all!

It was a smash hit success, and I would make the same menu over and over again.

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