What do you get when you ask the two incredible women behind the inspiring blogs, The Year in Food and The Forest Feast to collaborate on a dinner? You get a beautiful, Vibrant Feast of gorgeous vegetarian dishes all inspired by color. Both Kimberley Hasselbrink (creator of The Year in Food) and Erin Gleeson (woman behind The Forest Feast) pulled dishes from their new cookbooks that would not only compliment each others contributions but also tell a lovely color story. These ladies did a great job bringing their passion for color and food to life at their Vibrant Feast, focusing on every last detail from the bright floral arrangements to the hand painted name cards. Hosted by 18 Reasons in their amazing gallery space, which is filled with long, beautiful, raw edge wooden tables, a cookbook library and a boatload of charm, there couldn't have been a better evening. The 18 Reasons team was attentive, engaging and really worked hard to make sure everyone had a great evening. It was a sold out event and I was lucky enough to attend and share the night with my dear friends, Jenn and Amanda.
Course I, Red, came from Hasselbrink's new book, Vibrant Food. The Smoky Red Pepper Soup with Pumpkin Seeds + Feta was the perfect start to the night, comfortingly warm with the perfect combination of smoothness and texture. This marriage of ingredients was as beautiful as it was tasty. Please note that this is coming from someone who has said the words, "I hate red bell peppers" many a time. Course II, Orange, was a gorgeous Nectarine Tomato Salad, from Gleeson's new book, The Forest Feast. Beautiful and fresh, I'd serve this up at my next dinner party in a heartbeat. Course III, Yellow and Yellow-Green, was made of Gleeson's Corn + Cauliflower Tacos and Hasselbrink's Summer Squash Pasta with Green Goddess Dressing. This was hands down my favorite of the evening. The tacos were spicy and packed with flavor and the squash pasta was summer on a plate, light, fresh and refreshing. For their final course, Purple, Gleeson and Hasselbrink collaborated on a Berry Stone Fruit Cobbler, pairing elements of Hasselbrink's Summer Berry Peach Crisp and Gleeson's thyme sauce to create the perfect ending to a wonderful evening.
And since I've been dreaming about Summer Squash Pasta with Green Goddess Dressing since Monday's event, I decided I had to recreate it. I made some slight adjustments, mainly because of the ingredients I had on hand, and I'm sharing that recipe below. I also added cherry tomatoes for a burst of sweetness and chive blossoms because I'm always looking for an excuse to add edibles (no, not that kind of edibles). Honestly, Hasselbrink's recipe is so good that it does not need to be altered, so please see page 92 of her book if you'd like to see the recipe in its original form!
Summer Squash Pasta with Green Goddess Dressing
Slightly adapted from Vibrant Food
- 2 lbs. mixed summer squash
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 c. plain non-fat milk greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 avocado
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
- 1/4 c. fresh chopped basil
- 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
- 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped chives
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp. white miso
- 1/4 c. shaved manchego cheese, plus more for garnish
- 1/3 c. toasted pine nuts
- fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 c. cherry tomatos (optional)
- Chive blossoms (optional)
- Julienne Peeler
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Kitchen towel
- Vitamix or food processor
- Chef's knife
- Cutting board
- Cut the squash into thin strips using a julienne peeler.
- Sprinkle the squash with salt, toss gently, and place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes. Carefully squeeze the squash over the colander to release excess liquid and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- In Vitamix or food processor, combine yogurt, olive oil, avocado, lemon juice, vinegar, basil, parsley, chives, thyme, garlic and miso and blend until smooth.
- Toss drained squash with manchego, pine nuts and your desired amount of dressing.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with more manchego, pinenuts, cherry tomatoes and chive blossoms.
- Serve and enjoy (immediately)!