I love having people over for dinner. But I also love being invited to other peoples’ houses for dinner.
Especially when the lovely hostess concocts an awesome menu centered around one of my favorite things: salads.
I’m totally serious. While french fries and bacon will always capture my palate’s attention over vegetables and other healthy fare, I absolutely adore a great salad. And on a steamy summer evening, it’s hard to beat a well-dressed plate of salad fixins.
But let you think this meal was rabbit food, let me assure you that there was nary a leaf of lettuce involved. Instead, flavorful fruits, veggies, cheeses and herbs dominated these four fantastic dishes.
Uno: Fruit salad with melons and bright red strawberries:
Fruit gets sweeter when it’s chopped up and mixed with other fruits. I’m pretty sure this is a fact.
Dos: Potato salad, sans mayonnaise:
And as much as I do love mayo…I’ve gotta admit, there was none needed! Lots of freshly ground pepper, olive oil and dijon mustard gussied up the skin-on red potatoes just fine.
Tres: Israeli cous-cous topped with artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and lots of fresh parsley:
I had never had Israeli cous-cous before and was rather smitten by its chewy, pasta-like texture. Delicious.
Cuatro: Cucumber salad with pomegranate, fresh mint and feta:
Oh man. Although everything was amazing, this dish was the star of the evening, in my opinion! And that’s really saying something, because cucumbers usually freak me out (due to their resemblance to pickles, which are pure evil in vegetable form).
But I happily gobbled this up and went back for seconds – and thirds! Dressed generously with olive oil and champagne vinegar, the pomegranate seeds softened and melted in my mouth, providing a lovely sweet contrast to the tangy and crunchy cucumber base. The feta added just enough salt. The whole thing was simply perfect.
And oh yeah…chicken and corn were also served. And while both were tasty as well, I have to admit that the variety of lovely salads made this carb-and-meat girl into a veggie fanatic for a night.
That doesn’t mean I won’t eat the daylights out of a cheeseburger tomorrow. But fresh crunchy veggies? Yeah…they got me tonight!
Well done, Caroline! Thanks so much for having us over.
An offsite dinner break was very welcome after spending my afternoon figuring out how to fit a week’s worth of clothing and supplies in to this overhead-bin-friendly suitcase:
I refuse to check bags. That is for rookies.
As you can see, I did it! With room to spare for beach toys on top.
While I’m vacationing it up this week, be sure to check in daily for some extra special bonus posts! I’ve got some fun stuff lined up, and I promise I won’t subject you to any trite photos of my feet in a beach chair with the ocean in the background.
But I might drunkenly post after a long day at the pool bar. I’m not making any promises.
In the meantime….Happy Memorial Day! Give a moment of your party-hardy weekend to give thanks to those who have sacrificed in service – and, as your mom would say, have fun and be careful.
Check ya from the Caribbean!