Tonight I had some friends over for dinner. It was a super casual night, but the food was really good. Let me share the best parts of the menu with you…
To start, I made Pulled Pork. I have posted this recipe before. It is delicious. I must restate that there are a ton of ingredients, but don’t let that scare you away. Really, most of them are spices that we all have in our pantry. As usual, it was a hit!
Next was a “winter” salad. I took some ideas from two winter salad recipes I found online and made up this one…
Roasted Tomato Salad
10 ounces (about 1 pint) cherry tomatoes (or substitute grape tomatoes)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil – split
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar – split
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 stem fresh rosemary, or dried rosemary will work
¾ head of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn
¾ head of green leaf lettuce, washed and torn
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Add 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the rosemary (if using dried – sprinkle on the tray, not on the tomatoes, after tosssing), and toss.
3. Roast until tomatoes are soft and beginning to collapse, 20 to 25 minutes.
This was my favorite part!
4. Transfer 4 tomatoes to a cutting board. Gently crush those 4 tomatoes. Separate skins from pulp and discard skins and rosemary. Save remaining tomatoes for later.
5. Scrape tomato pulp and liquid into a bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar. Add remaining 1/4 cup oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Combine lettuce, and pecans in a large bowl. Toss with 1/4 cup of the tomato vinaigrette. Top with reserved tomatoes and cheese. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve immediately.
I had to do the last part right before serving, so didn’t get a photo of the finished dish, darn it! But trust me, it looked and tasted wonderful.
Lastly, I found these amazing Salted Caramel Butter Bars on Pinterest this week and just had to make them for dessert. Knowing that they are made with shortbread dough, I was a little apprehensive, thinking they would be difficult. They were not. The recipe is very easy.
And they are TO DIE FOR! In fact, I’m bringing the leftovers when I go work at school tomorrow because I do not trust myself left alone with their salty-sweet goodness.