Immediately prior to my move down to NC, my mom decided that we should throw a party. I can only assume that this is because she was so excited I was leaving town. I jest, I jest. It was nice to see old family friends before I started off on the new step. And, of course, having a party at the height of summer is always fabulous because there are so many magnificent fresh produce options to put on the menu.
I made some old favorites, as you’ll see below, but I also tried some new ones. I excitedly read the Smitten Kitchen recipe for Peach and Pecan Sandy crumble.
The farmer’s market peaches were gorgeous.
And the topping, raw, was so good that I had to make more of it because I ate too much… oops!
The finished stuff was good but mostly tasted like peach crumble… the pecan lusciousness got lost a bit.
This recipe was an unequivocal hit. The absence of my cilantro-averse sister meant we could make these Green beans with eggs, chiles and cilantro.
WOW. These were really good! Someone said the best green beans they’d ever tasted.
Tons of flavor, and very very fresh tasting. And a very inventive combination that I’d never have thought of on my own.
This may look like a simple herb and tomato and onion salad. Because it is.
But, it is the topping for this fabulous falafel stuffed eggplant.
I didn’t get any action shots but the meal also included this FABULOUS sweet and spicy watermelon from Edible Perspective, a blog upon which I have been hardcore crushin’.
Basically any time I have people over in the summer, I’m going to make these corn and basil cakes because they are SO EASY and SO DELICIOUS and just taste of summer like nothing else.
Plus my mom made another classic, her signature Greek-style potato salad, which gets most of its fabulous flavor from fresh oregano and lots of olive oil.
Plus, my sweet boyfriend (who at the time of this party had already moved down to North Carolina but came back to have fun with us and also help move some of my stuff down like a CHAMP!) also brought something. Witness the most beautiful bread in the history of bread, purchased at the epic Carrboro farmer’s market down here.
It was also SOOOOOOO delicious- wonderfully wheaty and chewy and crisp-crusted.
We had QUITE the feast. Colorful, well-rounded and, somewhat incidentally, completely vegetarian.
And let’s not forget the appetizer department, which included yummy eggplant dip (which I threw together from the eggplant “meat” scooped out of the stuffed eggplant, as well as some of the chipotle peppers I put in the watermelon salad); lots of cheese (cause we’re us); unpictured grapes; and some of my leftover homemade tomato focaccia.
And the big ol’ feast of a dinner. I was SO pleased with this. There’s something about stuffed vegetables (well, stuffed anything) that instantly makes a meal seem fancier. In truth, these were not difficult. (Well. I say that. I roasted the eggplant and made the sauce and salad toppers, but my mom did the filling and the actual stuffing of the eggplant. So I guess you’d have to consult with her. It seemed not difficult!)
And garnishes impart beauty!
My perfect plate. What a scrumptious meal for entertaining. I recommend all of these things!