The Lunch Bunch gathered once again at Linderhof
Alas, not the table
the only nod to Italy in the table setting is the little flag at the top of the menu
Yellow flowers in a crystal ice bucket
My beloved Spode blue and white, hotel silver, a coin silver dessert spoon, damask napkins and
But the menu,
Oh, the menu was Italian . . .
Deconstructed Caesar Salad
Served family style
a Gaida recipe
Also served family style
with hot "Italian" bread and tarragon butter
espresso and vanilla gelato
topped with whipped cream
2 cups red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (I only had red ones so I used all red)
1/4 c. capers, rinsed and drained
1 T. olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
1/2 t. kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 t. pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 c. Italian style breadcrumbs
1 pound penne pasta (or other short tube shaped pasta)
1 1/4 c. Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1/4 c. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 375. Butt an 8 x 8 inch glass baking dish. Set aside. Place the tomatoes, capers, 1 T. olive oil, 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper in the prepared baking dish. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzle the top with olive oil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
Place the pasta in a large serving bowl. Spoon the tomato mixture over the pasta. Add the cheese and toss eel. Thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.
DECONSTRUCTED CAESAR SALAD
I made my own dressing using real anchovies, garlic, olive oil, Dijon, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and olive oil. (No egg!) I cut my romaine in half, laid it on a platter, drizzled the dressing over all, sprinkled with a bit more olive oil, sprinkled with some more cheese and then topped with crushed croutons. You could use boughten dressing if you desire. I just think that it is a neat presentation!
A simpler dessert can't be found. Put a big scoop of vanilla gelato (or vanilla ice cream if you can't find gelato but Hagan Daas does make one and I found mine at Wal Mart) into a heat proof glass. Pour over it some freshly made (and hot) espresso. Top with whipped cream (if you want to gild the lily) and serve.