Dinner for a friend

We have a friend who had knee surgery last week and wanted to help with dinner for her and her family. Temperatures here were up to 100 today so we wanted to deliver something cool and refreshing. I opted for my my friend Becky’s Goddess pasta salad. I assembled the platter and brought the dressing so they can pour over the top when ready. It makes enough that it is our dinner too!

Becky is a Goddess Pasta Salad

Makes 6-8 servings

  •  1 3/4 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined and roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper for 10 minutes at 400
  •  1 (1 lb.) pkg small shell pasta, cooked rinsed and drained
  • 2 tsp Champange or white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 small head Green Leaf lettuce separated into leaves
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1-2 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
  • Green Goddess Dressing

Toss together pasta, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Line a large platter  with lettuce leaves; spoon pasta in center and top with shrimp.   Arrange tomato and bell pepper around pasta.  Serve salad with Green  Goddess Dressing

Green Goddess Dressing

  •  1 1/3 Cups Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 T chapped fresh chives
  •  2 tsp Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste ( I use much more than that)
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  •  2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Dinner to share

The quiche made another dinner for our friend who is recovering from surgery because it is just as easy to make in duplicate.  One of my favorites to have and to share.

Herbed Quiche

  • 1 frozen pie crust
  • 1/2 lb Jarlsberg (we use lite Jarlsberg) cheese grated (tonight I mixed in some Gruyere that I had on hand, Swiss would be good also.)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
Combine grated cheese with herbs in pie crust.  Blend together milk, half and half and eggs and pour over cheese.  NOTE: If using deep dish pie crust, increase to 3/4 cup each of milk and half and half and use 3 eggs.  Place on a cookie sheet to catch any drips and bake at 400 for 25 – 30 minutes or until set (the deep dish will take a little longer.)

Dinner for two (and two)

I have a dear friend who had surgery and I wanted to send a dinner to her.  I went with an old favorite and made two sets of two servings.  One for her and her husband and one for us.  This is another one of those super easy, super popular dinners – easy enough for a weeknight and delicious enough for company.  I was going to make zucchini fritters but decided a vegetable gratin would be healthier (and travel better for delivery to my friend.)

Chicken with Pesto and Sundried Tomatoes

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 per serving)
  • Pesto (prepared or homemade)
  • Minced sundried tomatoes in a jar (packed in olive oil)
  • Pine nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of wax paper and pound to about 1/2 inch thickness.  Top each breast with approximately 1 TB of pesto and 2 tsps of sundried tomatoes and then roll up.  Place rolled chicken breasts in a ceramic or glass baking dish and bake 35 – 40 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  I baste them with pan juice about 5 minutes before done (it gives them a nice color.)  If you want to dress them up more, sprinkle with pine nuts.  Serve or let cool and freeze.

Zucchini Gratin

  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • rosemary
  • oregano
  • Parmesan cheese
In a glass baking dish start with a layer of thinly sliced zucchini.  Top with tomato slices and red onion slices.  Drizzle with olive oil, rosemary and oregano (you can substitute whatever herbs you prefer).  Repeat and add grated Parmesan cheese on top layer.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until zucchini is tender.