Even though I forgot to wear any green clothing (shame on me), I still made sure to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in my own way. I cooked up a little green-themed meal, so I'm pretty sure that puts me in the clear for any pinching.
Whenever I have dinner guests arriving at different times, I like to make a few things for my early guests to snack on. This way their stomachs don't eat themselves and it also buys me a little time to finish up on the warm dishes. For last night, I made a Cannellini bean puree with tons of parsley and mint to give it a pretty mint green color. I also mixed soften goat cheese with toasted walnuts, thyme leaves and basil oil. This offered a more subdued pretty speckled green. Even our one anti-goat cheese diner liked this one. I served these with buckwheat lavash crackers that I sprinkled with cracked black pepper, fleur de sel and a fine grating of Parmesan. This is totally my new favorite topping. Next up is truffle salt. Mmm!
Another trick to having a smooth dinner party is to prep, prep, prep. I do whatever I can the night before. In this case, I made my lavash crackers along with the split pea soup the night before.
Besides a green salad and roasted vegetables, I beefed up the meal with pesto orecchiette. I added sauteed kale to make it extra green. This was my first time making orecchiette pasta and I'm happy to say that it was a success. I'm always shocked when things turn out on first attempt. It's an eggless dough made from an equal mixture of semolina and all-purpose flour. Though a tad time consuming to dimple each piece, the cute little dimples hold onto the sauce. Think flavor transporter.