On our trip from San Diego to Santa Cruz we spent one overnight with friends in Paso Robles. Gardening friends......that was a good plan! They had been harvesting some of their crops for days and had more than they could use so they shared their hard work and beautiful fruit and vegetables with us.
Here are two overflowing bowls of fresh figs and table grapes, both the best I've eaten. We also have wonderful peaches and plums. There is no way to buy a peach in a store that comes close to these.
Here a yellow squash and poblano pepper are sautéed. These were stirred into a penne pasta and put in a shallow pan with a marina sauce and topped with small slices of fresh mozzarella. I thought it was wonderful, Mark thought it was a bit too spicy. I thought I was cutting up a sweet pepper and may not have been as diligent in scraping out all the seeds. I suspect he got some seedy bites because I thought it was just perfect.
We'll be entertaining on Saturday. My plan is for a Salmon Nicoise salad. That way I can do all the work in the morning and visit with friends instead of cooking. Dinner prep will then just take some arranging on plates.
We still have a lot of learning to see what works best. Easy cleanup is kind of a key factor, as well as the smallest number of pans, and a good balance of fresh ingredients that work together with non perishables. I really like the trader joe stuffed grape leaves (dolmas) which come in a can. One cucumber, some tomatoes, a little feta cheese and some kalmata olives and dinner is served!