Now that Food52's Managing Editor Brette Warshaw has stocked her First Kitchen, she's ready to throw parties in it: no-stress weeknight parties for anyone, anytime, and (almost) every kitchen. You're invited.
Today: You can serve beans for your next dinner party -- here's how.
I take great joy in eating steak, in eating fish, in eating caviar and saffron and lobster and oysters. I also take great joy in feeding them to people (and sometimes, for a special occasion, I do).
But sometimes, when you're The Girl Who Throws Dinner Parties, you can't always serve steak. Sometimes, you have to serve beans for dinner.
Luckily, falafel is made of beans. And falafel is good. Falafel makes people happy. Falafel, when dressed up with tzatziki and gingery beet pickles and spicy carrots, when shoved in a pita next to a jewel-box of a grain salad, can be as thrilling as a teensy spoonful of Osetra.
This menu is mostly make-ahead, which gives you more time to work towards those steak dinners. In the meantime, eat your beans.
Up to two weeks before the party: Make your Gingered Beet Pickles, and let them hang out in the fridge.
The morning of your party: Take out your chickpeas, spread them on a baking sheet, and let them dry.
As soon as you get home from work: Boil up your grains, and let them cool to warm, and toss them with all of the ingredients besides the arugula and radishes (and save a bit of extra dressing). You'll toss in the fresh vegetables right before serving.
Two hours before the party: Make your Vanilla Date Pudding -- minus the cream part, which comes right before serving -- and set it aside to cool.
After the Date Pudding is in the oven: Time to start falafeling! Dump all the ingredients in the food processor, and press "on." When it's evenly blended, shape your falafel patties, and let them rest.
While the patties are resting: Whizz up your tzatziki.
When your guests start arriving: Take out your carrots and beets. Start pan-frying your falafel.
Dinner is served: Give your Radish and Pecan Grain Salad a final toss, arrange the falafel patties on a platter, set out plates of pita and bowls of your condiments, and dig in!
When the falafel is gone: Mix up your cream for your Vanilla Date Pudding, pour it on the cake, and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve it with a pile of forks.