I like the idea of a salad starter and a soup main course. A simple soup would be nice either cold or hot. If you are in your berry season up there (love those WA berries) how about strawberries with balsamic and pepper over some vanilla bean ice cream. Here is one of my favorite simple soup recipes with my tweaks. Be sure to read the reviews in the following link. It is excellent.
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recip ... views/5100
This is the Cover Recipe from a Febuary
issue of Bon Appetit, a few years ago. It has wonderful flavor
and color and is a fast meal.
Seafood Stew with Tomatoes and Basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 tsp dried oregano (second time I used 2
1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
2 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 1/2 cups bottled clam juice
1 cup dry white wine
2 6 1/2 ounce cans chopped clams, drained,
liquid reserved (I used fresh sea scallops)
1 lb. uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
(I buy the frozen, uncooked, deveined,
peeled ones at Costco)
1 6 ounce can crabmeat, drained (use fresh,
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
cayenne pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in heavy pot over medium heat.
Add onion, garlic, oregano,and fennel seeds
and saute until onion is tender about 8 min.
Add tomatoes, clam juice, white wine and if
used, liquid reserved from clams. Increase
heat and boil until slightly thickened, about
15 minutes. Add clams (or scallops) shrimp,
crabmeat. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.
Mix in fresh basil, and simmer until shrimp
are just opaque in center, about 2 min.
longer. Season stew to taste with cayenne,
salt and pepper.
I also added some fresh lemon juice and lemon
zest. Have the Tabasco bottle at the table
for those who want to add some additional
Serve with some great sour dough and a lovely
Make one day ahead or in the morning for flavors to develop.