A few of John’s friends were over for dinner on Sunday night. Boston folks: remember Sunday? Torrential rain storms punctuated by scorching hot sunshine combined forces to give us sauna-like humidity. John had the pleasure of spending the day at Six Flags (a work engagement; pretty awesome), and then driving back through the rain (not so awesome), and I had to work. So, come 6 o’clock, with everyone’s help, we kind of threw dinner together. 7 cooks in our tiny apartment kitchen usually doesn’t bode well for the food, but save for the humidity, we all kept it, ahem, cool. Except for me: midway through dinner prep someone started talking Simmer, and then someone else, and it spread, and I started realizing that they’re all actually reading this. I should be psyched, right? I’ve been sending out enthusiastic facebook updates after all; what did I expect? I guess I figured my readership was mostly, er, my mom and dad. I was mildly embarrassed.
My embarrassment aside, we churned out a pretty fantastic meal: Erin’s butter drenched corn on the cob; Jeremy’s spinach salad with strawberries, goat cheese, and candied pecans; our grilled salmon with peas pureed with mint and parmesan and served with lemon brodetto (recipe here); vino; and a literal mountain of fresh berries and cream for dessert. Really. Good. Suff.
I made this tasty white sangria to start off the meal. I first made it last year for my birthday. Like most sangria, it goes down like juice, but unlike most, it’s made without hard alcohol, so that’s not such a problem. I like it because it’s light and refreshing and tastes like summer. And bonus, even after a couple glasses, you’ll be plenty sober enough to do all manner of things, like say, grill salmon, and puree peas, and hull ten thousand berries. Cheers.
The juice of 2 small lemons (scant ½ cup)
1/3 cup sugar
3 small peaches, nectarines, and/or plums
A handful of berries
2 cups peach nectar
1 bottle dry white wine, chilled (I like Vinho Verde because it’s inexpensive and a little effervescent.)
¼ cup basil leaves, torn
Combine the lemon juice and the sugar in a pitcher and let is site while you prepare the fruit. Wash and thinly slice or chop the stone fruit and wash and slice (as needed) the berries.
Add the peach nectar to the lemon-sugar mixture and whisk well. Add the prepared fruit, the wine, and the basil leaves and stir well. Serve well chilled over ice. Keeps up to 1 day in the refrigerator.