Tonight I am having a little soiree at my real job. I am ridiculously excited to have Dana, from danatreat.com, catering the event. She is one of my favorite food bloggers, and I have made more things from her site than from any other food site out there. All of her recipes are vegetarian and many of them are sweets, and if you can’t already tell, I have a major sweet tooth. To have her cater an event for me is pretty much like having your favorite rock star come sing at your birthday party. I am very happy today.
When it comes to throwing parties, there is something in the Seattle DNA that pretty much precludes folks from RSVP’ing. I have no idea why, but folks around here cannot be counted on to say whether they will bother to show up at your event or not. I don’t know if this is because many people here don’t entertain and don’t know all of the planning and calculating and preparation that go into party planning, or if folks here just have a fear of commitment.
So, I gave Dana the catering numbers last week and what do you know, many folks have just called today to say they can make it after all. While I am excited to have them come, I am also now nervously biting my nails over whether or not there will be enough food. There isn’t time for Dana to make more– she has already been working hard (in 90 degree heat, no less) to get things ready. And lord knows I do not want to turn on my oven in this heat. So, I have decided to supplement my little soiree with an incredible dip/spread that comes from a cooking class I took in Paris with Susan Hermann Loomis. Trust me when I tell you this dip is amazing.
This dip is a great way to use up some of the mint that might be growing wild in your garden, as it is in mine right now. This recipe has only a few ingredients, comes together in less than a minute in the food processor, but can also be made by hand. I have served it to all kinds of people for all kinds of occasions, and it is always a hit. I like it best served with fresh veggies (cucumber, radishes and celery make particularly nice pairings) but it would be lovely served on top of any kind of fish or chicken.
Almond and Mint Cream
From Susan Hermann Loomis
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
fine sea salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (a nice fruity one if you have it)
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup warm water
1 bunch (about 1 cup) fresh mint
Place the lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl and add a generous pinch of salt. Whisking constantly, add the olive oil. Whisk in the almonds, then whisk in the warm water. Mince the mint and then whisk it into the olive oil mixture. Season to taste and serve immediately.
This can also be made in your food processor if you have one. I grind the almonds in it first, then the mint, then add the liquids.