|Me and Cindy Krebsbach|
|The Fabulous Lisa Mulhall!|
In addition to their numerous charitable achievements, these ladies are also alot of fun! When I invited them over a few weeks ago, the Cookbook Committee was hard at work formulating our proposal for the 10th Anniversary Celebration and they were kind enough to help us plan. For lunch, I decided to go with a delicious, Provençal-inspired theme and "Savor the Moment" had the perfect recipes to fit the bill: Pan Bagna (pg. 136), Mesclun with Walnut-Crusted Goat Cheese Rounds (pg. 31) and the Tarte Tatin with Oatmeal Crust (pg. 270). Of course we started the afternoon with a glass of De Margerie Grand Cru Brut Champagne NV for a toast to "Savor the Moment!"
The Mesclun with Walnut-Crusted Goat Cheese Rounds turned out to be a new favorite as well - easy to put together and very tasty! The dressing calls for minced shallots, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and mixed chopped herbs (I used basil and thyme) and has really great flavor. While the recipe calls for only 2 tablespoons of olive oil and/or walnut oil, it wasn't quite enough and I ended up adding about 1/3 cup of oil total, which gave the dressing a great consistency. I used half walnut and half olive oil - walnut oil gives such a fabulous nutty, smoky flavor! The walnut-crusted goat cheese rounds were very easy to assemble and held up nicely in the oven for a few extra minutes. The combination of walnuts and goat cheese gave the salad great texture and melded beautifully with the flavors in the vinaigrette. I will definitely be adding this salad to the rotation!
To drink, I served a deliciously pink, Côtes de Provence Rosé, the 2009 Chateau D'Esclans Whispering Angel. This blend of Grenache, Rolle, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvedre is done in a dry style with lovely fruit flavors, a delicate, creamy texture and almost spicy finish. If you have not tried this wine, I highly recommend it! Chateau D'Esclans specializes in making rosé and I recently had the chance to taste all four wines in their fabulous portfolio which happens to include the world's priciest rosé, Garrus, that sells for $100 a bottle! (full story here) Luckily, the Whispering Angel retails for around $20 and was the perfect accompaniment to our Provençal-inspired meal.
After our Provençal-inspired lunch, we flipped through "Savor the Moment" coming up with fabulous and festive ideas for the 10th Anniversary Celebration which will be held Friday, November 12th at the Seagate Beach Club from 7-10pm and is sure to be "A Night to Remember!" For more information and/or to purchase tickets, please visit the Junior League Website by clicking here. I have included the recipe for the Pan Bagna below and hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Cheers to Cindy and Lisa for a delightful afternoon that was definitely one to savor!
Pan Bagna (pg. 136)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove
salt to taste
1 (16 inch) sourdough or whole wheat baguette
1 tablespoon olive oil 3 ounces mild goat cheese
6 kalamata olives, sliced
1 cup arugula leaves
3 large radishes
pepper to taste
1 (6-ounce) tuna steak, cooked
3 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
8 large fresh basil leaves, shredded
Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, garlic and salt in a blender container and process until smooth.
Cut the bread into halves horizontally. Hollow the bread form both halves, leaving 1 1/2 inch shells. Brush the bottom shell with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Spread the cheese in the bottom shell. Layer the olives, arugula and radishes over the cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1/3 of the dressing.
Arrange the tuna over the layers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with half of the remaining dressing. Layer the tomatoes and basil over the tuna. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with the remaining dressing.
Fit the top shell over the layers and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a shallow dish and place a baking sheet on the top. Weight the baking sheet with several 1-pound weights.
Chill for 1 to 6 hours. Cut into 2-inch slices to serve.