I am lucky to live in a beautiful coop populated by some truly fantastic people. Last night my neighbors got together for a progressive potluck dinner.
My apartment was off-limits owing to an unfortunate leak, so Matt and Ryan graciously hosted the first course. The last month of weekly CSA shares had included more radishes than I could reasonably consume. Last weekend, in a desperate bid to keep them from going bad, I pickled the radishes. I’ve been eating them in breakfast tacos, as a garnish for Anasazi bean soup, and straight from the jar. For our potluck, I served the pickled radishes–along with French bread, baby Brussels sprouts, Macoun apple slices, and steamed new potatoes–with an Appenzeler and Fontina fondue.
The pickled radishes made a second appearance in a round–or, um, three rounds–of Gibsons. A Gibson is a vodka martini with a cocktail onion in place of an olive or a twist. I went with one part dry vermouth to four parts vodka, stirred with ice, strained into coupe glasses, and garnished with a pickled radish. The key is to use a good quality vermouth, which is a whole different animal from the $4 a bottle stuff. In this case, Dolin did the trick.
Next up was Matt and Ryan’s butternut squash and broccoli rabe lasagna. The arugula and radish salad with a lemon dressing provided the perfect counterpoint to the lasagna’s luscious nutmeg-infused bechamel.
At this point, we transitioned to red wine.
From here the party really got moving as we filed downstairs for a delightful spread of Indian street food and, of course, more wine. Praveen has promised to give me some lessons, so hopefully I can report back on what we ate in more detail at a later date. Suffice it to say that the dishes were fresh, delicately seasoned, and made all of our go-to Indian takeout spots seem sad by comparison.
The final stop was Chris and Rich’s newly renovated apartment on the top floor of the building next door. Chris had gamely agreed to take on dessert. But first there was champagne and a demonstration of the snazzy new induction cooktop, which brought a pot of water to a boil in about two minutes.
Dessert consisted of poached pears with crème fraîche and walnuts, some truly decadent English cheeses, and port. I have hazy memories of some more red wine and perhaps a high-end chocolate bar.
It goes without saying that this morning was a little rough, but it was well worth it.