Bruschetta with Peppers & Gorgonzola
Sorbet with Coconut Sauce
Call this a trial run. I wanted something special for dinner the night before leaving for our one-year anniversary trip . . . which is about a month away. Being the overly prepared person I am, I ordered some Lobster Gazpacho from Dean & Deluca after seeing it in their catalog. I was under the impression that it was made fresh to order, then frozen for shipping. After opening up the shipping box I noticed a note on the container, Keep Refrigerated – Do Not Freeze. Use By: 5/29/12. Okay, I guess we are having Lobster Gazpacho a little earlier than planned.
Since we’d be enjoying my splurge as an early anniversary dinner, I wanted to keep the fresh theme running throughout the meal. To accompany the Gazpacho, I made Ina Garten’s Bruschetta with Peppers and Gorgonzola. For dessert I found the recipe for Sorbet with Coconut Sauce in the current issue of the Food Network magazine.
This was a pretty amazing meal, even if I can’t take credit for the Gazpacho. I didn’t think a quart of soup would be enough for two hungry people, but it was the perfect amount. I was most impressed with the overly large hunks of lobster meat. They didn’t skimp; there must have been two whole medium sized lobsters in the soup. The flavors were amazing. Fresh and clean, cold and refreshing – everything a gazpacho should be. Acid from the tomatoes, crunch from the cucumber, heat from the peppers and a little cilantro for a kick of summer flavor. Even though it was expensive, I would certainly buy it again and thought it was worth the cost for the premature celebration.
I wanted to make the bruschetta for a while now, but never had the perfect main dish. Now I had one. The gazpacho needed a starchy co-pilot and the bruschetta fit the bill nicely. The peppers were sautéed until soft, then basil and capers were added. I used sourdough French bread cut into long diagonals. Brush the bread with olive oil and toast in the oven. Once toasted, heap a spoon full of the pepper mixture onto the toasts and add a crumble or two of gorgonzola and return to the oven to melt.
Even though they are a tad difficult to eat, I’m sure your eating partner won’t mind if you are licking your fingers and wiping your mouth because they are doing it too. It’s a great little bite with a lot going on. There was crunch from the toast, soft richness from the peppers, salty brine from the capers, and piquant creaminess from the cheese. It was a flavor, texture, and visual extravaganza.
Sorbet with Coconut Sauce may now be my favorite summer (relatively healthy) dessert. The coconut sauce is made with light coconut milk, brown sugar to sweeten and fresh mint leaves. I made the sauce slightly ahead of time and kept it in the fridge (whisk before use if it separates). Spoon mango sorbet into a bowl, pour the coconut sauce over and garnish with crushed pistachios. All the flavors paired so nicely and the added salty crunch from the nuts gave your mouth something to do other than swallow the soft sorbet.
I’m could easily eat this entire meal again tomorrow. The beautiful sunny weather made it twice as enjoyable and highlighted all the summery freshness of the dishes. These three recipes are perfect examples of flavor packed, seasonal cooking.