Everyday Divas Celebrations
with Mimi and Sue
I did this first thing to get it out of the way because I hate this task.
Cleaning these little peppers is tedious but I "knuckled down" and got it done.
Prepare the pork tenderloin
With kitchen shears cut away fat and the silver skin that wraps around the tenderloin. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate
Prepare the tri - colored mini peppers
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
With a paring knife cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and membrane. Try to retain the stem on the pepper for appearance.
Spread 1/2 of the peppers cut side up on a baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes. Allow to cool and taste to make sure they are to your liking. Set aside.
Make melon balls
Using a miniature cookie dough scoop cut as many melon balls from the 1/2 watermelon as possible. Place in a sealed plastic container and refrigerate. Eat the left over fruit because it's delicious!
Prepare heirloom tomatoes, salad greens and shaved fennel
Rinse and cut in half lengthwise. Place in a sealed plastic container and refrigerate.
Rinse and spin dry. Place in large aluminum roasting pan with paper towels, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Cut ends and fronds from fennel bulb, thinly slice using a mandolin and place in ice water in the refrigerator.
Zucchini (and niçoise olives)
Wash and pat dry. Cut in 1/2 and scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Cut into eighths lengthwise thencrosswise into 1/2 inch dice.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Heat in a large sauté pan. Add 1/3 of the chopped zucchini, a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup of water and cook over medium /medium high heat until the water has evaporated and the zucchini is crisp tender. You should not let the zucchini brown. Transfer to a baking sheet to cool. Wipe out the skillet and cook in two stages the remaining zucchini. When cool put all of the zucchini in a large bowl.
- 1 cup chopped pitted niçoise olives
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Add to zucchini and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to your serving platter, cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Do not refrigerate
I used very little olive oil in the 2nd and 3rd stages of sautéeing the zucchini because I noticed that it was looking a little greasy (maybe I was doing something wrong). We tend to enjoy more robust flavors. As a result, I increased the amount of olives and I continued to add more lemon juice until I was satisfied with the taste. I think ultimately I used between 6 and 8 tbsps of lemon juice. The recipe is materially different than as published but, everyone loved it.
Honestly if I was making this I would add a little parmigiano reggiano at this point. Even though there will be burrata served with it later.
Create the Atmosphere
Now we got to do our favorite part of a celebration which is create the atmosphere. After spending 2 entire weeks looking for blue mason jars (because Mimi just HAD to have them) I finally said: "why don't you just buy blue food coloring and put it in the water". Mimi said I was genius! So, that's what we did. I conducted a little science experiment in the kitchen to get the color exactly right.
Mimi meanwhile was cutting up navy blue ribbons to decorate each place setting and I was trying to get the hydrangeas to be the exact right height.
We also checked every piece of crystal, dinnerware and flatware for spots and finger prints.
After the porch was set up (as you saw on the blog), I went home to relax and get dressed.
We also removed from the refrigerator the sauce for the lemon spaghetti.
I liked the peppers raw, Sue liked the peppers roasted. So, we compromised and did 1/2 and 1/2! Peppers two ways.
The Day of the Celebration!