Dinner Party

A Solar Vortex Party

March 31, 2014

Food52's Managing Editor Brette Warshaw is throwing no-stress weeknight parties for anyone, anytime, and (almost) every kitchen. You're invited.

Today: A menu to pretend that spring is in the air.

Macaroni peas from Food52

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It feels silly to talk about the weather, once again -- to complain and to shiver and to moan, to say the things that everyone else is already saying. So, instead, we're going to pretend that it's actually springtime. That the air is balmy and shimmering with promise. That the markets are filled with rhubarb and peas. And then, since these things are not actually happening, we will turn to the freezer aisles and to those perennial produce champs, and we will make a meal that makes it seem like spring is here, triumphantly.

A favorite restaurant of mine called their too-early springtime menu the Solar Vortex Menu, and I loved the ring of it. So here is the Solar Vortex party, for when winter seems way too long.

The Menu

Roasted Radishes with Almond Salsa Verde
Greens + Green Goddess Dressing
Macaroni Peas
Roasted Endives with Walnut Vinaigrette
Parsley Cake

The Plan

Up to three days before the party: Make your green goddess dressing, walnut vinaigrette, and almond salsa verde. Keep, tightly covered, in the fridge.

Green goddess from Food52

Two days before the party: Mix the batter for your Parsley Cake -- the longer the batter sits, the greener it gets.

The night before the party: Bake your Parsley Cake.

When you get home from work: Roast those radishes; it's okay if they sit out at room temperature. Slice and toast your bread for the crostini.

Roasted radishes from Food52

Before your guests arrive: Make the pea purée for your Macaroni Peas, and keep it in a pan on the stove; you will reheat it before tossing with your pasta. Put a big pot of salted water on the stove; that way, you can just turn it on once your guests start arriving.

Party time! Once people start showing up, get those endives in the oven. Set out the salsa verde, toasts, and roasted radishes; have your guests build their own crostini.

When you're almost ready to serve dinner: Start boiling your pasta. Heat up your pea purée. Top your endives with vinaigrette. Toss your salad. 

Roasted endives from Food52 

Once everyone's seated: Toss your pasta. Dinner is served!

When it's time for dessert: Bring out your Parsley Cake. Top with vanilla ice cream and lemon zest. Spring tastes so sweet!

Parsley Cake from Food52


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Brette Warshaw

Written by: Brette Warshaw

I'm a reader, eater, culinary thrill-seeker, and food nerd.

1 Comment

Catherine L. March 31, 2014
Brette, thank you for making my Monday a little more Funday, as always.