A Mediterranean Extravaganza: Grilled pear, pistachio, and ricotta salad; Swordfish souvlaki; Greek garden packets; and Grilled grape and plum packets with whipped mascarpone! Phew…
This is what happens when your wife lands a really good cookbook. In this case, it is once again Diane Kochilas’ Mediterranean Grilling. With Mom & Dad slated to come over for dinner, Zoë somehow found some free time and came up with the entire menu, all from Diane’s book.
The highlights for me were the salad and dessert. This is a little weird, because I am usually all about the entree. Not tonight though.
The salad involved grilling pears, pistachios, and ricotta cheese. Yes, cheese. Now I have grilled cheese before with varying success, but I outright failed with the ricotta. Well not so much failed. I mean I did get the cheese off the grill, it just didn’t look as pretty as I would have liked (Read: big blob of cheese). Note to self: Remember to use the kettles with the smaller grates in the future (Which funny enough is the same thing I was supposed to remind myself this time!).
The pears, pistachios, and cheese were mixed with fresh arugula and topped with a balsamic vinaigrette. It was wonderful.
For the souvlaki, the swordfish was marinated in a mixture of lemon and olive oil and then mounted on skewers with bay leaves, cherry tomatoes, and red onions. The swordfish was good, but in my opinion a tad over cooked (the minority opinion I have been told). Regardless, I would still have it again.
The garden Greek packets are always good, and while on the topic of packets, let’s talk dessert. We have come to the conclusion that just about any fruit is great on the grill. Even fruit you might not initially eat on its own…which in my case is most of them. Sorry, I’m bad that way. For instance, I’m not a big plum eater. However, cook a plum over the grill and I will line up for thirds…and maybe fourths if I loosen the belt on my pants and fifths if I…well you get the idea.
For the packets, Zoë made a sugary port reduction which was tossed with sliced grapes and plums. The fruit mixture was placed into parchment paper packets, topped with butter, and grilled indirectly for about 15 minutes. When finished, they were topped with mascarpone which had been mixed with orange zest and some of the leftover syrup. Wow, it was really good.