Reserved for the swankest occasions, the tea party is a gilded gift of spring. We go goo-goo over few party precepts like the garden soiree that's all finger treats and fragrant spirits and toasts like, "To accomplishing the winter, friend! To birthing the spring, traveler!"
Last weekend we whipped up cold pasta salads and celery root rémoulade, but the biggest sellers were finger sandwiches. We did a take on cucumber—but with crust and a Chilean pebre (similar to chimichurri or pesto) of oil and garlic—and another quasi-untraditional sandwich of fresh hothouse tomatoes and lemon zest mayonnaise. We served it all garden-side with difficult teas, cheap champagne, challenging Mexican pineapple beer juice and olives cured in salt in Alex' basement. Chop, chop!
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch cilantro, washed, dried and chopped
6 cloves garlic, skins removed and minced (or pressed)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 unsliced loaf wheat bread
2 Persian cucumbers, washed and dried, cut into thin slices
1) Fix pebre spread by combining oil, cilantro, garlic and salt in a mixing bowl.2) Slice your loaf of bread lengthwise and place face-up for stacking. Lay cuke slices on 1 side of the loaf. Spoon pebre evenly onto the other side of the bread. Press sides together and cut into 1-inch-wide finger sandwiches.
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup olive oil, plus a little extra
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt to taste
1 unsliced loaf sourdough bread
2 large tomatoes, washed, dried and cut into thin slices
1) Whip up the lemon mayo by beating egg yolk with the olive oil in a mixing bowl. Add mustard and salt and whip well. Zest the lemon using a grater or micro-plane into the bowl, then cut it in half and juice it, adding all the juice to the mixture. Finish with another touch of olive oil and mix until creamy.2) Slice your loaf of bread lengthwise and place face-up for stacking. Lay tomatoes on 1 side of the bread, and slather the homemade mayo on the other. Press sides together and cut into 1-inch-wide finger sandwiches.
Beverage: North Coast Brewing's Pranqster
Soundtrack: The Flaming Lips, “She Don’t Use Jelly” (off Transmissions from the Satellite Heart)