Friday, November 4, 2011

Lunch with heart

We had the most fabulous lunch at Sally's last week with guest of honour Kim honoured in true prep style.

Emma worked her magic to produce the most stunning table setting ever - totally gorgeous and so up my alley. Could it get any more perfect?

Art School Prep. Pink. Navy and white stripe. Ranunculus. Oh and a fabulous spread of food.

Read more about Emma's efforts here.

Doesn't she look fabulous in her Catherine Ogust dress? 

I'd better hold up my end of the bargain and supply the recipes!

This watermelon and feta salad is a favourite of mine. It just smacks of Summer and I make it at every opportunity. Perfect accompaniment for a summer BBQ - it's amazing how it can make even the most basic of sausages all of a sudden seem posh!

Over the years, I've played with a few variations on this salad and have come up with one that mixes a few together. Blokes are always wary of the unusual combination of flavours and textures - but they're the first to come back for seconds!

Watermelon Salad

Large quarter of seedless watermelon, removed from skin and diced into large chunks
1 block of feta (I like Danish for its creamy texture, but Greek tends to hold its shape better)
handful of pitted kalamata olives
half red onion, sliced very thinly
2 limes, juiced
handful mint and continental parsley, coarsely chopped
splash of olive oil
sea salt and cracked pepper
  1. Put the thinly sliced red onion in a bowl and pour the juice of the two lines over the top. Leave the onion to soak for a good half hour or so (this takes out the harshness of the onion and turns the juice a gorgeous pink)
  2. Lay the watermelon on a big flat platter and crumble the feta over the top
  3. Scatter the onion over the top, dot with olives and then sprinkle with herbs
  4. Pour the lime juice over the top of the salad and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and cracked black pepper
The next salad is a great leafy alternative that is lovely and fresh with the splash of lime (obviously flavour of the month in my kitchen!) 

Check back here for the recipe.

Sally and Emma created this delicious baked pasta dish - and they swear it's deceivingly healthy!

I don't have the exact recipe, but it was basically Lattina Fresh spinach ravioli with a homemade tomato sauce featuring onion, carrot and olives with a few dollops of low fat ricotta on top. Baked in the oven for a perfectly cosy lunch.

Dessert was out of this world ah-mazing. Sally outdid herself with cupcakes, chocolate brownies and lemon meringue pie (Emma's no fail recipe).

Derek's crushed raspberry tart was also a winner - such a refreshing and light end to a meal (thanks Donna Hay!)

Sally and Emma are living it up on the Gold Coast this weekend so I'll track down the dessert recipes later, but I have got my hands on the Donna Hay recipe for the crushed raspberry tart that Derek whipped up. I can imagine how totally fabulous it would be using Careme pastry - have you seen how high that stuff can puff?!

Crushed Raspberry Tart
(Recipe from Donna Hay)

375 g block store-bought puff pastry, thawed
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tbsp caster sugar (we used regular granulated)
2 cups raspberries
1 tbsp icing sugar

sour cream filling:
1 cup sour cream (I think it would work better with the really thick type)
1/4 cup single or pouring cream (half and half; we used whipping, mmm)
1/3 cup brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and trim to a 20 cm square.
  2. Cut 8 strips measuring 1x20cm from the remaining pastry.
  3. Place the pastry square on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Brush with the egg white and place half the strips around the edge to form a border.
  4. Brush the borders with the egg white and place the remaining strips on top. Prick the base with a fork.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the pastry with caster sugar.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
  7. To make the sour cream filling, whisk the sour cream, cream, and brown sugar in a bowl until smooth.
  8. Combine half the raspberries with the icing sugar and crush lightly.
  9. Fold in the remaining raspberries. Spoon the sour cream filling over the pastry base and spoon raspberries on top.
And do you know one of the best things about the lunch (besides the great company, the delicious feast, the top tunes and the gorgeous setting)? It was the fact we were paying tribute to Pink Ribbon Day and raising money for breast cancer research.

Lunch with heart. I likey.


Kim Grey said...

That watermelon salad sounds so unexpectedly delicious! And the raspberry tart is making my mouth water. Looks like such a lovely lunch!

B.x said...

What a fanastic spread - a lunch with style!

Melissah from Scrapbook said...

Gorgeous table setting - I am loving the pink and the food looks absolutely yummy. I will have to try out that delicious looking watermelon & feta salad!

Prue said...

I love a good watermelon and feta salad, but I have never tried it with olives, look forward to giving it a go.