50 Shades of Dinner

What do Memorial Day Weekend in NYC and 50 Shades of Grey have in common? They are both hot and sweaty, that’s one. New Yorkers flee to Central Park to disrobe to their bikinis and get some much needed Vitamin D. And in the book, rumor has it there is fleeing and disrobing, but not for Vitamin D’s sake. In any case, I had a bunch of girlfriends over for a nice dinner to celebrate the long weekend. Apologies to the guy friends who had to sit through a dramatic reading from the book. But hey, on the plus side: you guys got some great food for free!

But back to the food…I spent Friday afternoon at the Union Square Greenmarket getting inspired and decided to make a few appetizers and forgo a central main dish. I knew my trusty cooking friend iPav would bring some apps as well, so I didn’t want to go overboard with the food (well I still did but that’s besides the point). I picked up some tomatoes for a gazpacho, country bread and fresh farm eggs for bruschetta, scallops, and fresh flowers (I’m obsessed with flowers). A trip to Whole Foods supplemented everything I was missing, including Honey Badgers.

The focus of the dinner was Mediterranean meets Greenmarket meets bright colors of summer. The food was scarfed down and judging by the number of empty wine bottles in my recycling bin the next morning, the evening was 50 Shades of Tasty. (Apologies for the repeated puns)

A traditional, refreshing chilled gazpacho. If you would like something slightly more adventurous, try a cauliflower-based White Gazpacho.

Seared Scallops with Tomato Confit, Pearl Onions and Asparagus Purée
Definitely a hit of the evening, this dish was bright colorful and tasty! For another scallop idea, check out Seared Scallops with Corn Velouté.

Grilled Eggplant with Garlic-Cumin Vinaigrette, Feta & Herbs
The vinaigrette and fresh herbs really add a punch of flavor to the grilled eggplant

Tomato Basil Egg Bruschetta
Not your typical bruschetta, but so savory and delicious. For a lighter version, check out Harissa Salsa with Housemade Ricotta on a baguette.

iPav’s Contributions:

Mushroom Tarts

Goat Cheese Fig Cups

Orange Ricotta Cake


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