Monday, April 8, 2013

italian-o cocktail party

Tomato, cucumber & basil salad, white bean hummus (with toasted baguette), roasted almonds, marinated cherry peppers/artichokes/mushrooms/cippolini onions, spicy capocollo, prosciutto, olives and an Bellavitano Merlot cheese.
It was the most beautiful weekend in Nashville! Blue skies, sun and a nice breeze - the perfect outdoor cocktail hour weather! I have lovely neighbors who joined me last night on the deck for an Italian happy hour.

12 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
pinch of kosher salt and pinch of black pepper
pinch of sugar
1 medium cucumbers
half red onion, diced

12 to 15 small fresh basil leaves
Dressing - 1/4 cup EVOO 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
S&P to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2teaspoon dried oregano

 Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and hit them with a big pinch of salt, pepper and sugar. Cut the ends off the cucumbers and use a vegetable peeler to make long stripes in the skin. Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise and then crosswise into inch slices. Add to the tomatoes. Peel the onion and dice about half. Dump the onions in with the tomatoes and cucumbers and give everything a good toss.
Clean and dry the basil leaves. Stack them on top of one another and roll lengthwise into a tight cigar. Cut crosswise into thin strips and stir into salad.
Throw together a batch of dressing. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over tomatoes and cucumbers. Marinate the salad at room temperature for several hours. 
This salad is light and refreshing. We washed everything down with chilled Sauv Blanc (obviously). 

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