A Summery Celebration

This is a fantastic menu that is way more achievable than it looks. Impress your partner, friends or family with this summery meal fit for a celebration.

Rosé Prosecco

Melon and Prosciutto with Basil and Olive Oil

Black Olive Tapenade and Goat’s Cheese Crostini

Crispy Cod with Pine Nut Romesco Sauce and a Rocket Salad

Lemon Sorbet

We ate this fittingly sexy meal for our wedding anniversary dinner. Light and interactive; ideal.

I don’t normally go in for numerous courses, but I do like a long, drawn out meal. I suppose the latter necessitates the former. But unless you’re in a restaurant (or you’ve got a private chef to hand), the only way to do this is to choose a menu that is genuinely easy and make-ahead. And this is.

Instructions for the melon and prosciutto can be found here.

The recipe for tapenade crostini is here.

Get the recipe for crispy cod with pine nut romesco here.

Read on for tips on how to get ahead and pull everything together.

The Day Before

Make the sorbet (or just buy a good quality one) and whizz up the tapenade. Chill the wine.

A Few Hours Ahead

Toast the crostini and make the romesco. Leave both at room temperature until needed.

Set the table.

An Hour Ahead

Assemble the melon and prosciutto and place the tapenade, goat’s cheese and crostini on a board.

If you’re really organised, assemble your fish breading station.

Eat

Pop the cork on your chosen weapon. Serve the melon and prosciutto first, or eat at the same time as the tapenade for an antipasti buffet vibe.

When It’s Cod Time

After you’ve finished the first two courses, though with absolutely no rush whatsoever, coat and pan-fry the fish – the work of 10 minutes at most, glass of bubbles in hand – and dress the rocket salad while the fish is sizzling away. Dollop a generous pile of sauce on one side of a plate, then create an artistic smear by using the back of a spoon to quickly and confidently draw a circle around the plate. Plate the fish in the middle and add a handful of dressed rocket on the side. Serve with a big wedge of lemon for ad-hoc spritzing.

Finish with the sorbet at your leisure.

A low effort, high impact feast, and I charge you with finding anyone who’s not impressed.

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