It’s Monday, and I’m at home. I woke up slowly, very slowly, I had leftover dessert for breakfast, and I read once again with pleasure my birthday greeting cards. It’s Monday, but I’m on holidays for 4 weeks and yesterday I celebrated my birthday with a ’50s style garden party with a dear friend.
I’m happy for many reasons: first of all I eventually got my much needed holidays and this upcoming month is already full of expectations and comes at the right time. Secondly, thought at a second thought this should definitely be the first reason, yesterday I felt all day overwhelmed by a high tide of friendship. Never before I have been so clearly aware of how much I love all those people who were there and how makes me happy that they love me.
That said, time to tell you which are my plans for this holiday season! I had already planned a series of posts dedicated to a summer dinner in the garden to be published while I’ll be traveling around Europe (we’ll talk about this next time) but after my opening words about the ’50s party, I am now even more confident that I chose the right theme for this August … a midsummer night’s dinner in the garden with your best friends.
I like dining out, watching the sun that slowly disappears behind the hills and the stars that light up one by one in the summer sky.
I like to share these quiet moments with my friends, figuring out whatever excuse to gather to enjoy eating and drinking outdoors, with a concert of cicadas and crickets to accompany our talk and our laughs. I like to do things slowly, going shopping for food in the early morning, starting cooking for dinner the day before, so that when my friends arrive there’s only to set the table and uncork the first bottle of wine: a white tablecloth, white dishes and a few home-made lanterns, made with jam jars and candles, to spread a soften glow among the olive tree branches. I love those summer evenings when you wish a moment to last forever, because you feel happy, loved, protected.
From now till end of August I will propose you a full menu that is enough for at least 15 people, which can be cooked the day before or the very morning, so that you can enjoy your guests without having to travel back and forth between the kitchen and the garden.
Colourful and fresh, these have been our favourite family vegetarian appetizers for the last 30 years, there is no summer dinner without roasted pepper crostini.
- 2 red peppers
- 2 yellow peppers
- 1 green pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- Freshly ground black pepper
- dried oregano
- fresh basil
- Tuscan bread or whole wheat bread
- Preheat oven to 180°C, grill function.
- Wash the red and yellow peppers and place them whole in the oven until the skin begins to get burnt here and there.
- Remove the peppers from the oven – be careful with them, they usually contain a steaming cooking liquid – and close them into a plastic bag for at least an hour. This will help you to peel them easily.
- After an hour, when they are completely cooled down, peel the peppers and dice them.
- Gather the diced peppers into a bowl and stir in the raw green pepper, previously cut into small cubes, season with extra virgin olive oil, one crushed clove of garlic, salt, freshly ground black pepper and oregano to taste.
- Let them in the fridge for a few hours to enhance their flavours until you are ready to serve them: the roasted pepper spread can be served on toasted slices of Tuscan bread, of wholewheat bread, of a baguette or of some white bread.
- Serve the roasted pepper bruschette with a few leaves of fresh basil or oregano.