Saturday night we had a special treat: a colleague and friend invited us to a marvelous dinner at her home. Even better was the opportunity to get to know the family for the first time — kindred spirits in food and many other dimensions as well.
We made a small contribution to the meal — the Tian de Courgettes et de Tomates — a zucchini gratin, partly to allay our host’s concerns about making a fine dinner for us foodie vegans. Her fears were without any basis. Here are her words about the meal:
My own personal theme for this dinner is to simply share with you a couple of vegan dishes that I have been making for years without thinking of them as ‘vegan’. They are staples is my kitchen our family is very familiar with them.
I am still thinking about the menu for Saturday (I’m also going to visit a farmers market). But here is what I intend to make:
Chickpeas stew with greens and spices
(mixture of greens- swiss chard, kale…, onion, green bell peppers, tomatoes, chickpeas, garlic, parsley, coriander, cumin, sweet paprika, turmeric, black pepper, salt, olive oil)
Afghani (Palau) rice
(basmati rice, carrot, onion, olive oil, cranberries, cumin, chili flakes, salt, pepper, pistachios)
Jamie Oliver’s stuffed peppers with roasted veggies [also stuffed tomatoes to give Barbara an alternative to peppers]
(bell peppers, roasted: eggplant, zucchini, red onion, tomato, garlic, thyme, ; stuffing: quinoa, kalamata olives, mint, parsley, lemon juice, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, goat Feta cheese (if you wish), black pepper, coriander, sea salt, balsamic vinegar)
I am going to bake a fish [it was salmon] and make a salad, and Lily will bring fruit salad and sorbet.
We had a great evening! As you can see from the above, this was a delicious and extraordinary meal without the gratin. But I was happy to bring it, and it turned out well — and not very different from the pictures in the cookbook (see my previous post).
Here is the dinner table with all those lovely dishes:
And these are the photos of the gratin going into and coming out of the oven.
Thank goodness for good friends and colleagues, warm summers, and farmers markets.