An impromptu dinner party came into place after a late Friday afternoon group gchat session with a few friends. Although it was after five, I was still at the store and dinner plans had not yet been solidified for the evening. Michael had already planned on making a deep dish Chicago-style pizza. I bribed him and his crew to come to my house with promises of fresh basil from the store (my basil seedlings are not quite ready to be harvested), a large kitchen to work in and a television that could show basketball. (The last part of the bribe was a bit of a gamble. While my roommate has a television, I’ve never actually seen it used for anything but playing DVDs.)
My part of the dinner would be the rest: appetizers, salad and dessert.
There’s been a big twitter brouhaha about watermelon radishes as of late, and a fellow tweeter linked to a blog that showed them beautifully displayed in a pile of chickpeas. As the dinner was impromptu, I decided to cheat with regular ol’ hummus and rice crackers.
The radishes came with a crunchy kick that worked perfectly with the smooth cool flavor of the hummus and the crisp buttery flavor of the rice crackers. In short, I’m a watermelon radish convert.
The salad was simple. This winter, I’ve been a big fan of Earthbound Farm Organic Fresh Herb Salad, not necessarily because of the Organic label, but because of the mixture. I buy this lettuce mix during the winter months because in the mixture is one simple ingredient: cilantro. I’ve not been very successful at growing this herb (though I’m trying again this year). And I can never quite use an entire bunch of the store-bought stuff before it turns. But I love the stuff, especially mixed with my greens.
The rest of the salad was simple: dried cranberries, sesame seeds, goat cheese and Hills Own 56 Dressing. I love the sweet and sour blend. It’s one of few last relics of the 55 Restaurant Group that birthed Columbus restaurateur Cameron Mitchell.
Finally, the dessert: my first-ever flourless chocolate torte, which will be discussed in part two. (Cliffhanger: will it be categorized in oops? Stay tuned to find out.)