After a long winter the thought of warm nights surrounded by flowers, great food and delicious cocktails can be ever so exciting. So, to get you inspired for some outdoor entertaining this spring, we put together a beautiful farm to table dinner to reveal how to create a relaxed yet beautiful evening with friends.
When it comes to outdoor entertaining, creating a comfortable atmosphere is just as important as the food you serve. Essentially, you want to bring some of your favorite elements of your home outside like seating, table linens, rugs and blankets to keep warm. Also, much like utilizing different rooms in your house, it’s fun to set up different spaces outside for your guests to enjoy.
For this evening we started with cocktails and appetizers under the crabapple trees, cozied up on benches and sheep skin, and then moved into the garden for dinner. With the farm as our backdrop, we paired local and fresh ingredients together for the meal, which carried through the serene and natural feeling of the farm. It also allowed for easily prepared dishes so our hostess could enjoy the party, as well.
Garlic Scape Pesto
10 large garlic scapes
1/3 cup pistachios
1/3 cup finely grated parmagiano reggiano
1/3 cup olive oil
Mix garlic scapes, pistachios and parmesan in a food processor until finely chopped. Next, while food processor is on, slowly pour in the oil from the top opening. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Enjoy with bread, crackers or mixed into pasta.
Potato & Garden Peas
1 1/2 lbs of small roasting potatoes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup peas
Handful each of mint and basil, chopped
Cube potatoes and coat with olive oil. Spread them evenly on a roasting pan and bake in the oven on 400F until golden (about 30 minutes). Mix potatoes, peas, mint and basil in a bowl and serve either warm or cold. Add salt and more oil if desired.
Crabapple Cocktail (Makes approx. four cocktails)
6 ounces Tequila
2 ounces lime juice
1.4 tsp fenugreek bitters
1/2 tsp pepper bitters
1/2 tsp jalapeño (juiced from fresh peppers)
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1.5 cups crabapple syrup (***see below for recipe)
Add all ingredients together with a dash of salt and lightly mix. Then, pour mixture over ice, top with cold sparkling water and stir lightly. Enjoy!
***For 5lb crabapple syrup:
Cover with water in a large pot and bring to a boil; simmer for 3 hours. Stir occasionally and add a flame tamer or more water if the apples start to stick. Strain through a cheesecloth, return to the stove on low and add approximately 1/3 of a cup sucanat or organic cane sugar and a bit of salt to taste (you can add more sugar but we recommend you leave it on the tart side as you can always sweeten it later). Simmer for another 20 minutes to let the sugar dissolve completely, adding water if it gets too thick. You want a smooth, sauce like consistency. Remove and let cool.
The syrup can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or frozen and brought out for mid-winter cocktail making. In addition to a base in cocktails, it’s wonderful dripped over vanilla ice cream.