Last weekend, I was honored to host a baby shower for a good friend, Dena. It was over 90F outside, but we managed to have a lovely lunch in the garden. The actual party was not a problem, but I found myself very worried about the games. Fortunately, Dena absolved me of this responsibility, declaring that games were unneccessary. Yippee!
Once I could focus on the food, the menu came together quickly:
Baby Shower Lunch Menu
- Farro Salad with Artichokes, Garbanzo Beans and Sun-dried Tomatoes
- White Bean and Tuna Salad
- Sliced salumi
- Italian cheese
- Fresh bread and butter
- Cantaloupe and strawberries
- Prossecco, lemonade and ice tea
For dessert, I made Blueberry Slab Pie, which was very easy to make and tasted great. I was slightly disappointed that I could not use local blueberries, but since the recipe called for 8 cups, I decided that my budget would be much happier with frozen wild blueberries.
Farro Salad with Chickpeas and Marinated Artichoke Hearts
from Whole Grains for Busy People, by Lorna Sass
For the salad
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups semi-pearled farro
12 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 1/2 cups chickpeas (canned or fresh cooked), drained and rinsed
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (chopped, or look for julienned in the jar)
For the dressing
3 TBS oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
3 TBS grated Romano cheese
1 TBS lemon zest
3 TBS lemon juice
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Salt & pepper
Pour balsamic vinegar over onion in small bowl. Set aside.
Bring 2 1/2 cups water and salt to a boil; add farro and cook for 20-25 minutes, until tender. Drain.
Combine artichoke hearts, chickpeas and sun dried tomatoes in medium bowl. Toss in farro and onion with any unabsorbed vinegar.
To make the dressing, whisk olive oil, cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley. Toss with remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chill until ready to use.
Note: This salad kept very well, and could be made a day ahead of your party.
White Bean and Tuna Salad
from Mediterranean Light, by Martha Rose Shulman
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3-4 TBS red wine vinegar
2 cups cooked white beans (I used canned here, not enough time to cook my own)
1- 6 1/2 ounce jar water-packed tuna (I went for the nicest tuna I could find)
2 tomatoes, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon (3-4 TBS)
3-4 TBS flat-leaf parsley, chopped (can also use basil)
2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS plain, lowfat yogurt
1 TBS capers, rinsed
Salt & pepper
Tomato wedges to garnish
Toss onion with 2 TBS vinegar and add water to cover. Let soak 30 minutes and drain.
Toss together remaining ingredients (except tomato wedges). Taste and correct seasonings. Chill until ready to serve. To serve, line a serving bowl with lettuce, mound salad in the middle, and garnish with tomato wedges.