It happens every year. You’re tasked with planning the New Year’s Eve outing for you and your crew. However, you did not get around to it, were out of ideas and money, or just wasn’t up to being the party planner. Now it’s the day before New Year’s Eve and everyone’s looking at you with expectations of a good time. Take the pressure off yourself by serving up delicious Rack of Lamb with Asparagus Parmigiano and a tomato fennel salad. This recipe takes about 40 minutes from start to finish and serves 4-6 people, animals, or whomever you decide to invite.
Rack of Lamb
Tomato Fennel Salad
The recipe is easy to follow and can be found in detail at Eating Well.
1 pound heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
2 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cut the tomato into wedges and place into a nice serving bowl. Add fennel and parsley. Then, add olive oil, white-wine vinegar, and ground pepper. Thoroughly mixed ingredients together. Put in refrigerator until ready to serve.
2 pounds asparagus stalks, washed and trimmed
Extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt or sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
Traditional Aceto Balsamico (aged Balsamic Vinegar)
In a 3-quart sauce pan, add about 15 quarts of water over high heat. Then, shave curls off the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese using a vegetable peeler.
Cut the ends of the asparagus in a diagonal. When the water begins to boil, turn the heat to medium and put the asparagus in the water, laying them as flat as possible. Blanch the asparagus in the boiling water for about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender (2.5 minutes to be safe). It is important not to overcook. Remove from heat and run under cold water. Be sure to drain well.
Toss asparagus, with just enough olive oil to lightly coat and arrange on a serving platter.
Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese curls over the top of the asparagus and add pepper. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, if you have it.
Now you are ready to get your grub on.
Look out for part two which will focus on drinks, appetizers, & dessert.