If you’re hoping to host a fabulous, impress-your-guests dinner party this summer, I have a few ideas that you’re more than welcome to borrow: The first is a dinner party with a Mediterranean-style theme … and the second is a New England inspired lobster fest. And when it’s time for dessert, feel free to serve this refreshing Watermelon Sorbet Pie, adapted from Taste of Home magazine.
When it’s sizzling hot outside, a fruit-based dessert like this one hits the spot. Read on for the recipe as well as some behind-the-scenes pics of two dinner parties I attended last week.
I spend a lot of time entertaining at my house, so when Don and I got invited to a dinner party at our friend Sara’s apartment in Boston, it did not take a lot of arm twisting to get us to say, “yes.” Sara Baer-Sinnott is the President of Oldways, a non-profit group in Boston dedicated to helping people everywhere live longer, healthier lives by embracing the “old ways” of eating.” They are also the group that launched the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid over a decade ago. It didn’t surprise me when tomatoes, spinach, bulgur, walnuts, and pomegranates ended up on Sara’s dinner table!
Sitting around Sara’s colorful table was a group of nutrition superstars including Frank Sacks, Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Harvard School of Public Health, Kathy McManus, Director, Department of Nutrition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and Marta Garaulet Aza, Professor of Physiology and Nutrition at the University of Murcia in Spain. In this photo — with a Turkish dish of Spinach Lamejun in the foreground — Marta chats about the importance of eating together and celebrating good food with friends.
Sara prepared several flavorful Turkish dishes from Chef Ana Sortun’s cookbook, Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean. The menu included Spinach Lamejun made with spinach, garlic, lemon zest, haloumi cheese, and creme fraiche, a bulgur dish called Ayfer’s Kisir, and a Tomato, Walnut and Pomegranate Salad. For the recipes, check out the Oldway’s Turkey’s Culinary Heritage booklet (pages 32 and 33).
Dessert was light and refreshing. Sara served a Watermelon Sorbet Pie which she adapted from Taste of Home magazine, and she plated it with blueberries and Pavlova, a light and airy meringue dessert.
Watermelon Sorbet Pie
Makes 8 Servings
In the Taste of Home version, just before serving, you’re supposed to puree the frozen watermelon mixture in batches until smooth. Instead of a slushy sorbet, Sara turned this dessert into a pie. I loved it so much that I made it for the lobster dinner party Don and I attended later in the week. When I make it again, I’m going to add some blueberries right to the mixture so they get frozen into the pie!
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 5 cups cubed seedless watermelon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
1. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan, stir together, and bring to a boil. Cook and stir until the sugar is dissolved; set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, process the watermelon until pureed. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in the sugar syrup and lemon juice.
3. Pour into a glass pie plate (I used a 10-inch round) and freeze for 8 hours or until firm. Let the pie sit out at room temperature for 5 minutes before slicing. Top with blueberries.
Nutrition Information per Serving (1 slice): 70 calories, 0g fat, 0mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 0g protein, 10% vitamin C
My good friends, Catherine and Maryellen, invited us to a lobster dinner they were hosting for some of their out-of-town friends, and we gladly accepted with the promise of bringing my new favorite dessert.
If you have never eaten a steamed lobster, you should add it to your bucket list! It’s messy but worth the effort. Don’t forget the melted butter!
This icy treat, served with blueberries and a small meringue cookie, was the perfect ending to our rich lobster dinner.
Doug Moss (a certified yoga instructor), Catherine and Maryellen’s friend from Los Angeles, posted a photo of my Watermelon Sorbet Pie to Facebook prompting a flurry of requests for the recipe.
If anyone else makes the watermelon pie, let me know. It’s a winner and the perfect ending to any summer dinner party.