A Moveable Feast
A Family Affair
Add some personality to your annual wienie roast
Damn. Just as you start to relax after making it through Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, yet another less-than-meaningful holiday is upon us. The Fourth of July and all its quasi-patriotic entailments are giving you the stink eye. It’s time to scrape last year’s gunk off the grill, knock the dust off the mismatched patio furniture and fill your Frigidaire with cheap beer.
So this year, let's pledge to serve food that is just as colorful as the people who will be eating it. You know what I’m talking about. Every holiday cookout brings together those people we wish we didn’t know: our families. That strange hodgepodge of personalities that throws to the wind everything we know about genetics will be gathered in our backyards, setting off more fireworks than the local amusement park and eating everything in sight. For your amusement and pleasure we have put together the finest offerings from those all too common family types that will be lowering the bar at your star-spangled shindig.
“I Swear I’m Not Gay” Crudités
We all have a relative that's so gay Rupaul’s greatest hits play as he walks by. Still, he does his best to play it straight at these family functions, so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of the older generations. They consider his eccentricities to be the predictable result of his codependent, overbearing mother. Of course, you love him dearly for who he is and not just because he always brings the best dishes to family get-togethers. You also love him for the entertainment factor he contributes when he quick-as-lightning plucks cousin Bubba’s unruly eyebrows into beautiful St. Louis Arches.This flamboyant veggie tray requires a little more work than the usual chop-and-serve method, but it'll knock the stockings off your guests. The multicolored beans are unexpected and, to many people, unknown. Look for them at specialty or gourmet stores, or check out your local growers' market.
Makes 8-10 generous servings
For the dip:
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Crudités:
1/2 pound green beans
1/2 pound wax beans
1/2 pound purple wax beans
3 bunches mixed red and white radishes with greens attached
1) In a bowl, combine the parsley and garlic, mashing to a paste with kosher salt. Stir in mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, anchovy paste, lemon juice and pepper, and season with more salt if needed. The dip can be made up to a week ahead, refrigerated. 2) Trim beans and prepare an ice bath (large bowl of ice and water). In a large pot of boiling, salted water, blanch the green and wax beans separately for 2 minutes each, or until crisp-tender. Immediately drain and transfer to ice bath. Purple beans should not be blanched or they will lose color. Drain beans and pat dry. 3) Trim radishes, leaving some small green leaves attached for appearance.4) Arrange crudités on platter around dip and serve.