5.13.2017

Sharing

Sitting around the table sharing a good meal is just plain fun.

I'm sure that my foodie friends would agree that this is why we cook.

Leisurely hours sharing stories, laughing, crying, tasting, and sipping - isn’t that what life is all about?

Sometimes it's fun to present a fancy dinner, served in courses, on your best china, with crisp white linens, sparkling crystal, and sterling silver place settings.

Alternatively, there are times when keeping things casual can be just as elegant.

Simple white plates, mismatched napkins, tumblers, every day cutlery, and blue jeans. Cozy. Comfortable. Intimate.

In the end, whether it's fancy or casual, it's really about the people at your table.

Occasionally, when we are entertaining just a few friends, I love to put out several dishes in the center of the table to share. It makes my heart happy to watch everyone dig in.

That is one of the reasons I enjoy the concept of tapas so much. All you need are a few hearty dishes to share, and you can sit down and enjoy being with your company. After all, they are the reason you are together.

If Mr. Rogers taught us one thing, it was "sharing." Make a few tapas, invite a few friends, uncork a nice bottle of wine, and - before you know it - you will be deep into the night with a warm glow in your heart.

~ David

Coliflor con Vinagreta Templada de Jamón

salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large tomato
1 large cauliflower
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup virgin olive oil
2 scallions
1 green frying pepper, such as Anaheim
2 tablespoons snipped chives
4 ounces Jamón Serrano

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt and sugar. Cut a cross in the lower end of the tomato, then blanch it for 60 seconds; peel, seed, and cut flesh into small dice. Cook the cauliflower in the same water as the tomato for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside; keep warm. Place 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and the vinegar in a small saucepan. Add the oil and whisk to emulsify. Chop the scallions and pepper. Add the tomato, scallions, Anaheim pepper, and chives to the vinaigrette. Add the Serrano ham, finely-diced, and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil the vinaigrette for 3 minutes, then spoon over the warm cauliflower and serve.

Serve 6-8 as a tapa.


29 comments:

  1. Lovely description of shared meals, David. Whether elegant or casual, both scenarios touch my heart. We have a mutual friend with a fondness for olives. I'll have to make this the next time we're getting together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lois - I hope you and Sue enjoy this!

      Delete
  2. On my list of "must try"!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are so right David, sitting around the table and sharing a simple or elegant meal is fun and warms the tummy and the heart. This is definitely something I am going to make soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew was going to resonate with so many of my friends, Gerlinde!

      Delete
  4. Oh la la that looks delicious. Yes that is exactly why we cook, the enjoyment of the food for sure, but mostly the company.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that was so evident when we were with you this spring, Carolyne!

      Delete
  5. It's been a while since I last sat at a sharing table. I really miss it!
    Need. This. Cauliflower.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is straight-up you, John! I actually thought of you as I was making it!

      Delete
  6. Shared meals are the best, such a wonderful way to converse and spend time with others. especially love the way you prepared this cauliflower, I know that both Don and I would really enjoy this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheri - the first time I made this, I shared it alone with Mark. Boy was that a rich meal! It didn't stop us but we sure were wishing there were others with us!

      Delete
  7. We are so alike. I love the big heaping plates of food in the center of the table too. GREG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does the heart good, doesn't it, Greg?

      Delete
  8. I love the small bites and good company too. Overdue for an adult tapas-style night here and this gorgeous cauliflower recipe is on the list of wonderful dishes to serve when we get the chance. :) Thanks for sharing it, David!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get your adult tapas night, Marcelle! Thanks, as always, for your kind comments!

      Delete
  9. ... this is to be eaten warm, correct? + I guess it could work also with Italian prosciutto...? (easier to find) (oddly enough I do have a cauliflower in the fridge) stefano - italianhomecooking.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stefano - yes, this is served warm, but not necessarily hot. And, yes, you can use prosciutto a special easily and it works fine! I should add that to the instructions! What a glorious way to use your cauliflower! A presto, d

      Delete
  10. Completely agree on the tapas concept David! In fact for my extended family Christmas party (45-65 people depending on the year) everyone brings an appetizer which is always a bigger hit than the sliced ham or turkey provided by the host.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a wonderful way to have a party, Inger! One of our favorite small-ish events to host (8-10 people) is "tapas and telly" - we watch a favorite movie and everyone brings an app to share. Great fun!

      Delete
  11. Couldn't agree more, David. Although I'm fine with cooking for myself, it's really all about sharing. And for that, nothing beats a communal meal.

    By the way, don't tell any of my Italian friends, but I think I may actually like jamón serrano and especially jamón ibérico even better than prosciutto di Parma. Shhh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your secret is safe with me, Frank! I really like it, too - great texture and flavor.

      Delete
  12. Hi David! This looks like a wonderful way to enjoy cauliflower, and I love cauliflower especially when softly textured. Food definitely tastes best when enjoyed together. And I like my eating experience casual because I can be quite a klutz! :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, yes - we all can be such klutzes! I learned to skirt the issue by using the WWJD method (What Would Julia Do?) - like the other day when I forgot the pear tart in the oven - the crust was toast, but the main part was merely crispy - so I cut of the crust and no one was the wiser! Thanks, Julia!

      Delete
  13. I don't know if I've heard a word you've said....I'm fixated on the photos....

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note - I really appreciate hearing from you and welcome any ideas you may have for future posts, too. Happy Cooking!

If you would like to receive follow-up comments, simply click the "Subscribe by E-mail" link to the right of the "Publish" and "Preview" buttons.