Monday, November 7, 2011

Coventry Neighborhood Ladies Lunch

It was my turn to host the ladies neighborhood event that we hold every other month and as always, it was a lot of fun and great to catch up with everyone. All of the dishes that I made were cold with the exception of Diana's Corn Dip. My photos are not very good, as I was preparing for 14 women to come over and didn't really have time to stage properly. This blog post includes savory dishes only. I had desserts as well.

Chicken Salad With Walnuts and Grapes
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
  • 1 3-pound roasted chicken, skin removed, meat roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup halved red seedless grapes
  • * cup roughly chopped walnuts, lightly toasted Mesclun, optional
  • Crusty bread, optional

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Add the chives, parsley and tarragon and mix gently.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, onion, celery, grapes and walnuts. Add the mayonnaise mixture and fold together to combine. Season to taste. If desired, serve over mesclun or with bread.
Serves 4 to 6

Shaved Zucchini Salad with Parmesan Pine Nuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 lbs medium zucchini, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup coursely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • small wedge of parmesan cheese
Whisk oil, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, and crushed red pepper in small bowl to blend. Set dressing aside.
Using vegetable peeler or V-slicer and working from top to bottom of each zucchini, slice zucchini into ribbons (about 1/16 inch thick). Place ribbons in a large bowl. Add basil and nuts; then dressing. Toss to coat and season to taste. 

Cucumber, Tomato and Feta Salad
  • 6 cups coarsely chopped cucumbers (about 2 lbs)
  • 2 large tomatoes (1 lb), coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup of assorted pitted olives (such as Kalamata or Gaelta), halved
  • 1 7 oz package feta, crumbled, divided
  • 1/2 cup coursely chopped fresh mint
  • 6 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, olives, half of feta, and mint in a large bowl. Whisk oil and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad, toss and coat. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle remaining half of feta over and serve.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad
  • vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs) peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp of salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, plus wedges for garnish
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1tbs finely chopped garlic
  • 1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced orange or red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 4 cups baby arugula
Heat oven to 375. On a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, place potatoes in a layer; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Bake until tender. 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven. Let cool. 
In a bowl, whisk juice, vinegar, garlic, and remaining salt and pepper. Add potatoes, beans, tomatoes, bell pepper, scallions and mint. Toss and serve over arugula.
Garnish with lime wedges

Diana's Corn Dip is a favorite at neighborhood functions. A while back, I invented a pasta dish based on Diana's Corn Dip. Warning: This is fattening! Diana's Corn DIp. Scroll down for the Dip recipe.


  1. Hey Beth, I made this black bean and sweet potato roasted - added some turkey and spinach - delicious! thanks!
    I also posted it to my blog but gave you all the credit!

  2. Oh awesome Meg! I was going to make your endive appetizer, by the way, and Kroger had such nasty endive! I just couldn't use it. Argh.