September 19, 2010

weekend eating

It's been a very good food weekend for us, starting with a particularly terrific meal on Friday night at Spinasse. On a stormy night, few dining rooms in Seattle are as warm and comforting.

Salt-roasted local spot prawns. Sweet and succulent, one of our favorite things to eat.

First of the season porcini mushroom, two ways: broiled and caramelized and shaved raw with parmesan. Unreal depth of flavor.

Crispy pig trotter on sauteed beet greens. Crazy rich and decadent, a fantastic contrast of textures.

And of course, the always phenomenal tajarin al ragu, to which LaV has professed her undying love and devotion.

As much as we loved Spinasse when it first opened, Jason Stratton has really elevated the restaurant to the next level and made it his own. He's maintained a fantastic team and has a great sense of the flow of the restaurant, taking regular stints serving in the dining room to stay connected to that side of the operation. Super gifted, super humble, and an all-around terrific fellow who deserves all the accolades he has received. This is one of the restaurants that makes Seattle feel like "home" to us.

Inspired, the next evening we walked into the garden to harvest the ingredients for a dinner with some good friends.

Saturday's menu:

avocado and green tomato gazpacho
blistered corn, black cherry tomato, pickled red onion

salad of garden tomatoes, five varieties
mozzarella, japanese cucumber, apple-mint

roasted beet salad
bacon, baby arugula, chevre, roasted walnuts

skillet-roasted baby carrots
caramelized onion, medjool dates, harissa-spiked yogurt, honey
(a dish inspired by the good folks at Sitka+Spruce)

san marzano tomatoes, garlic, pepperoncini

chocolate zucchini cake
d'ambrosio hazelnut gelato
(gotta do something with all the zucchini we're getting...)

Then came today... a day which somehow turned out to be a bit busy and tiring (for a variety of reasons), but with pockets of relaxation and rest. Looking for a way to close out the weekend, I put together a simple sunday supper:

*caprese salad
*marinated raw zucchini with walnuts and crisped prosciutto (following a tip from Chef Stratton... this may be my new favorite way to eat zucchini)
*risotto of beet greens
*caramelized figs with chevre and honey

Just enjoying a meal with LaV in the peace of our home, sitting on our deck for the last few minutes of sunlight... I wish those minutes would last an eternity. They're a great reminder of how much we have to be thankful for.

We're keeping our fingers crossed for some mild weather this week... our garden still has a TON of tomatoes on the verge of ripening. With any luck, the rain will be sporadic and we'll just need to fend off a few hungry slugs...

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