Monday, August 25, 2014

Wild Things and Giant Artichokes, Because Why Not?

Wow, it's been a few weeks, I'm sorry! Lots of things have been going on. I had a couple posts planned...and I accidentally just deleted all the pictures off my phone. Oh well....

But here's a little bit of what I have been up to.

First of all: GIANT artichokes. I ended up steaming them and making a basil(I grew it from seed!!) butter to dip the leaves in. Would you believe I had found these at Ralph's??
Artichokes as big as my head!!
2nd of all: A good friend of ours is in town and I decided to host a dinner for 6 people at our place last night. The original plan was to grill (burgers and things, I think everyone was thinking) but I got super excited and inspired (it's all my friend Mia's fault!!) and put together a pretty crazy menu....well, crazy for us and WAY above and beyond just "grillthing".

I wanted to do 3 small plates, a charcuterie plate, and a main dish with 2 sides, and a dessert. This was the most difficult food

And so the menu:

Small Plate 1:
Nettle leaves stuffed with fresh homemade fresh goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and sauteed lambsquarter flowers and seeds, topped with a black mustard flower.

Small plate 2: 
Quail eggs marinated in smoked black tea, soy and spices on a pita cracker with nettle pesto and crispy pancetta.

Small plate 3:
Heirloom caprese wrapped in ribbons of summer squash.

Charcuterie plate: I did not put this together, and didn't get a chance to eat much of it, but it looked pretty great!

Main:
Chicken Kabab marinated in lemon, yogurt and wild California spice mix
Lamb Kabab marinated in spices (marinated by our friend)
both grilled, served on a bed of french green lentils, a side of baby potatoes roasted with sweet white clover,  and a side salad of watercress with roasted parsnips tossed in a simple red wine vinaigrette. 

Dessert:
Pink peppercorn panna cotta with homemade elderberry syrup, and candied toasted California buckwheat flowers. 

I don't have recipes or pictures of prep as I was wayy too busy. I went to Whole Foods before work on friday, and when I got home from work I got straight into prepping until the wee hours. I then woke up early and ventured out in to the wilderness to obtain stinging nettles, lambsquarter flowers/seeds, mustard flowers, sweet white clover, various sages and mugwort. Then went home and continued prepping until people showed up...

Here are some pictures of the final products!
Stinging nettle leaves stuffed with fresh homemade goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and lambsquarter flowers and seeds, topped with a black mustard flower. 

Heirloom cherry tomato caprese wrapped in summer squash ribbons with fresh basil from my garden (I started it from seed!) with an olive oil drizzle and S+P.
Cracker topped with nettle and red skinned walnut pesto, quail eggs marinated in smoked tea, soy and spices with crispy pancetta.
All of the appetizers together! Top to bottom, left to right....wild foraged olives marinated in orange,  nettle pesto and quail crackers, charcuterie and cheese plate with rosemary marcona almonds, mustards and fig jam, stuffed nettle leaves, squash wrapped heirloom caprese.
Main dish: chicken kababs marinated in lemon, yogurt and wild spices, lamb kababs, baby potatoes roasted with butter and sweet white clover,  watercress and roasted parsnip salad with a simple red wine vinaigrette. The kababs are on a bed of french green lentils. 

And let's not forget dessert! Pink peppercorn panna cotta with homemade elderberry syrup and toasted candied buckwheat flowers:




That is all for now. I have lot's of posts planned...I just need to actually write them up!! Thank you for your patience. Thank you Mia and Pascal for your inspiration.  

And as always, enjoy! 

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