Let it be known that we said Local Dinner, not Lo-Cal Dinner. Although I don’t think it was overly sinful. K and I decided it would be fun to get our group of creative gals together for a lovely, local dinner. She hosted at her beautiful house (minus dog) and I sent out the emails. The goal was to have an entire meal (seven people – seven dishes) that were all based on our CSA or farmers markets finds. Four of us have had active CSA deliveries all summer. Three of us (ahem) had a not-so-great CSA experience when the CSA folded. Oh well. There are still plenty of goods at the market.
So on to the details. That first picture is J’s beautiful platter of FM tomatoes and basil with local herbed butter and bread. The chunk of cheese is from the St. Paul Famous Cave Lady Cheese. It is soooo good. She even sells “fish bait,” which is cheese that’s not pasturized, and a bit to raw for my taste, but good to know its available.
And potato skins. Hello, totally local food. Usually offered in bars, with frozen ingredients, these were the real deal. Red potatoes from ATs CSA. She added some fresh local (again, not lo-cal) cheese and local sour cream with fresh herbs. They were delicious. And oh, so much better than anything served at Champs. Yum, yum. Calories, shmalories.
AB brought beautiful tomatoes, basil and mozzarella from the Mississippi Market. It’s my favorite co-op and these were delicious. The only problem with local, in-season tomatoes, is that they really ruin tomatoes for the rest of the year. These were juicy, sweet and tart, all at the same time. Guess I’ll have to freeze some more.
My contribution: Carmelized Butternut squash and onions pizzas. It’s from the current issue of the Wild Oats magazine, and I hope it’s posted on their website soon. So easy, so beautiful. Carmelize the squash and onions with some oil in a low oven for an hour, brush some oil and garlic on a local crust, add some parmesan (hardly local), add the squash and onions and sprinkle on some feta. What a treat. Sweet and tart and hot and crunchy. I’ll remember this one every fall.
K, our lovely hostess, made a beautiful carrot bake. It was unlike anything I’d had and I can’t believe I didnt get a shot of it. I know it contained local carrots, milk, eggs and cheese. It was a warm comfort food that would well when the temperature is lower than it should be. And I think it would be a perfect reheated lunch. It was sweet and savory at the same time, and very hearty. K – we need the recipe!!
And then there was desert. JS made a beautiful apple, cranberry and maple crisp with Cedar Summit Farm Vanilla ice cream. Sweet, tart, rich, cold, yum. This is a recipe to share and to make again, and again and again. JS – please send me this recipe. (and you know what? somehow, she brought it the party of her bike, that’s talent!)
Seven you ask? Try to think of seven dishes for a meal. S brought some tasty bread to pass around. What’s a dinner party without bread?