We threw a lovely little housewarming party a bit ago, to celebrate our beautiful new Santa Monica home and all we love about west coast living. (Check out our Sustainable Summer Soiree Inspiration post for all the serving ware and decorative items we used!)
We used our weekly Out of the Box Collective CSA box of fresh, local, seasonal and organic produce as a jumping off point to create our entertaining menu, and filled in the blanks from Whole Foods and food ol’ trusty Trader’ Joe’s.
We cut up a ton of our CSA veggies to create a vibrant and delicious bowl of crudités, but you can use literally anything you have on hand! Carrots, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, fennel, green beans — you can do no wrong!
White Bean & Beet Hummus
- 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/3 cup roasted beets, chopped
- 1 BPA-free can organic white beans, rinsed
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Directions: Puree garlic, beets, beans, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with seasonal vegetable crudités.
Fresh Herb Aioli
- 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ cup fresh herbs such as chives, tarragon and parsley, finely chopped
- 2 large pasteurized egg yolks, at room temperature
- Juice of half a small lemon
- ½ tsp ground mustard powder
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Add garlic, salt, and fresh herbs to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and incorporated.
Add the egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard powder and pulse again until incorporated.
While the processor is on, drizzle oil in slowly until a thick, shiny aioli is achieved.
Can be prepared a day ahead; store in refrigerator.
Inspired by Gourmande in the Kitchen
- 2 pounds English peas, shelled (or use thawed frozen peas)
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
- 1 large baguette or crusty bread, cut on the bias into 1-inch slices
- 1/2 bunch mint, thinly sliced, plus more mint leaves for garnish
- 1 ball burrata cheese
- Course sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, then blanch the peas until tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peas to an ice water bath to stop cooking. Drain and pat dry. Use the same method to defrost frozen peas.
In a medium bowl, combine peas, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Preheat the broiler. Brush the bread on both sides with olive oil. Place slices on a broiler pan or baking sheet and broil, flipping once, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes per side.
Just before serving, toss the mint with the peas and favas. Place the burrata on a platter and spoon the pea mixture around. Arrange the toasted bread on the platter, garnish with mint leaves and olive oil, and serve.
Inspired by TheKitchn
Watermelon Cups with Feta and Mint
- 16 1-inch cubes seedless watermelon, chilled
- 2 oz. rbgh-free feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 Tbsp mint, finely chopped
- 2 tsp shallots, finely chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Using a small melon baller or a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon, scoop out a small well in each watermelon cube, keeping the walls of the cube intact.
In a small bowl, mash together the feta, mint and shallots; season with salt and pepper. Stuff the wells of the watermelon cubes with the feta mixture.
Vegan and Gluten-Free Friendly Cheese Board
We wanted to offer some healthier, vegan-friendly options on our cheese board, so in addition to some dairy cheeses, we also served nuts cheeses from Kite Hill and Treeline (available at Whole Foods), alongside some quince paste, olives, and crackers (both whole grain and gluten-free).
To round out our party menu, we filled our festive party bowls with fancy nuts from Trader Joe’s: Truffle Marcona Almonds, Honey Roasted Macadamia Nuts, and Thai Chili Cashews. Easy, festive, and beautiful. The perfect munchies to set out for your party!
Local Berry-Thyme Summer Kombucha Cocktail
This kombucha cocktail is a light, refreshing and healthy summer drink that can accommodate drinkers and non-drinkers alike!
- 3 16-oz. bottles local kombucha (classic, berry, or citrus) — we used Health-Aide LA-crafted Kombucha in Classic.
- 16 oz of filtered sparkling water
- 2 cups of local, organic berries — we used a mix of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
- 8-10 twigs of organic thyme
- (Optional) 1 bottle each of vodka and gin
Combine all ingredients other than the alcohol in a pitcher or beverage dispenser. Place alcohol bottles next to the pitcher so guests can mix their own drink!