Recently I’ve become taken with the idea of hosting dinner parties for a bunch of strangers.
There’s a new movement in “social dining.” Think AirBnB, but for dinner parties. For instance, if you’re traveling to say, Rome, instead of eating at a restaurant one night, you’d pay to go to a Roman’s apartment, eat a home-cooked Italian meal, and meet some new people who may also be dining there that evening. Eating in the home of a local (a tried-and-true home cook who’s been vetted and recommended by others) is a great way to connect with locals in the town you’re visiting (or the city in which you live).
I’m hoping to be on the other end of it: Welcoming over folks to our Madrid digs, cooking up food, chatting with strangers, and sharing with them all the things I love about Madrid. While I have the disadvantage of not being a Spaniard – what tourist looking for an authentic Spanish food experience is going to dine at the home of a couple of Americanos? – I think that some Madrileños are eager for better vegetarian food options than what this city’s restaurants offer.
So, I just applied to be a host of one such program and am waiting to hear back. In preparation (or as an excuse to have a dinner party) I recently had friends over to taste test some old and new recipes, and my very talented friend made an awesome video.
Here was menu for the evening:
- Strawberry gazpacho
- Spanakopita with tzatziki sauce
- Salad of beet carpaccio, mandarin oranges, pistachios, microgreens, with a pistachio vinaigrette
- Mason jar with mushrooms, roasted asparagus, homemade ricotta, and hollandaise
- Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms with maple glazed Brussel’s sprouts
- Fresh lasagna rolls with eggplant, homemade ricotta, marinara, oven-roasted tomatoes, and walnut-basil pesto
- Butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sage sauce
- Butterscotch pots de creme with whipped cream, caramel sauce, and sea salt
And of course, lots of wine.
To hosting dinner parties,
The Dame in Spain