This time of year, we get so excited about the produce at the farmers’ markets, the green buds on the trees and the blooms all around us. To celebrate the change of seasons, we threw this green, herb-infused dinner party. This is our first Hunt, Gather and Host dinner in Laurel Canyon, and we wanted something distinctly Canyon-esque on the table. Sage! We picked tiny bundles from our backyard and tied simple nametags on them with twine. — bbbcraft sisters
We went to the farmers’ market without too much of a plan for décor, hoping to be inspired by the herbs we found there. We planted tiny herbs in rustic wooden boxes weeks ago and watched them grow and bloom. These herbs inspired our dishes and seasoned our food. We used these pretty, wild greens as our centerpieces. Each box was a mix of thyme, rosemary, sage, lavender, mint and oregano. We found miniature clay pots and planted them with single rosemary sprigs to put at each place setting, and though we hadn’t planned it, everyone went home with one at the end of the night, excited to start or add to an herb garden.
CLICK HERE for the full party how-to after the jump!
Each guest also went home with a handful of arugula seeds and instructions to plant them. We chose arugula because our aunt is an arugula farmer in Oregon, and we always love when she drops off bunches of it. We were hoping we’d display some of her green-thumb genes when starting these seeds.
We created table runners with floral stencils. We used our favorite painter’s drop cloth and ripped it into strips to create these panels. Read the stencil how-to here.
Our good friend and chef Annie of Après Fête helped come up with a menu for the evening and cooked for us — what a treat! We started off the night with fresh farmers’ market vegetables that we shopped for earlier that day. Annie whipped up some of her famous dips for us:
Cilantro Tahini Carrot Dip
- 1 1/2 roasted carrots
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 t. cumin
- 1 t. paprika
- 1-2 T. of tahini
- dash of cayenne
- 1 clove of garlic
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- handful of chopped cilantro
- salt and pepper
Combine carrots, shallots, cumin, paprika, cayenne, clove, lemon zest and lemon juice, and blend in a blender or food processor. Slowly add olive oil until desired consistency. Feel free to add water or more olive oil. Fold in chopped cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Minted Miso English Pea Dip
- 3 cups blanched English peas
- 2 T. white miso paste
- 1 T. rice wine vinegar
- 1 t. ground ginger
- 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- handful of chopped mint
- salt and pepper
Combine peas, miso paste, vinegar, ginger and red pepper flakes, and blend in a blender or food processor. Slowly add olive oil until desired consistency. Feel free to add water or more olive oil. Fold in chopped mint and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Dinner started with roasted asparagus topped with lemon zest and parsley, followed by spicy mixed greens with chive vinaigrette. Inspired by what she found appealing at the market that day, Annie made a Ricotta Thyme Tart, a Wild Mushroom and Leek Tart, and a Spring Onion and Swiss Chard Tart. We ended the night with a Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp with Basil Ice Cream.
We wanted to create a signature drink that went along with our herb party, so we had our good friend Greg create this delicious drink for us. We wrote out the drink recipe on simple coasters in case anyone loved it and wanted to take it home. The drink was a big hit — very fresh and tasting of spring! It also tasted refreshing without the vodka.
- 2 oz. Vodka
- 1/2 oz. Rosemary Simple Syrup (see directions below)
- ginger (use as small or large a piece as you like per drink)
- 3 lemon wedges
- soda water
For Simple Syrup:
Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 5 sprigs of rosemary. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Let stand one hour, then discard rosemary, cover and chill. Can be stored in the refrigerator up to one month.
For Lemon-Rosemary Fizz:
Muddle 1 cube of fresh ginger with 3 lemon wedges. Add 2 oz. vodka and 1/2 oz. Rosemary Simple Syrup. Shake and strain over ice and top with soda water. Decorate each glass with a rosemary spring and lemon twist.