SUNDRIED TOMOTO AND ROSEMARY PESTO, The Wandering 03
I'm writing this post while smiling and still riding the high from The Wandering 03. It was our first brunch, and certainly will not be our last. Let me first describe the setting. We gathered at Ceremony Coffee's workshop in Georgetown. The space is a small- an intimate room- peppered with shiny coffee equipment throughout, perfumed with the smell of toasty ground coffee, and illuminated with natural light pouring into every corner. Aley and I feel incredibly grateful to have had a space donated to us, as opposed the default plan that we've grown accustomed to- hosting the dinners at my apartment. This goes without saying but this was definitely an upgrade.
The Wandering has truly been a labor of love for me. One word that I should emphasize is labor. The gatherings take time, collaboration, energy, patience, and lots and lots of planning. This gathering however, came together more organically than the others and was a little less demanding. I spent Saturday cooking leisurely, putting together my mise en place, and creating table cards. By the time Sunday morning rolled around, all I had to do was pop my dishes in the oven, "set it and forget it", if you will. I met up with Aley and Ceremony 3 hours before guests arrived which offered us plenty of time to catch up, set up, take photos, sip on locally roasted coffee, and design an enchanting space for our guests.
And now the coffee. Where to even start...? Ceremony Coffee is just so comforting and tasty, and their love and appreciation for the craft is inspiring to be around. We were joined at the table by two coffee experts from Ceremony, who made sure that our cups were bottomless and taught us about the unbelievable amount of work and attention at each step of the chain to develop a well balanced cup of joe. The coffee endlessly flowed into our mugs. In fact, before the wanderers arrived I was already 3 cups deep and so by the event's end I felt so jacked up on caffeine that my hands were twitching and my heart thumped along to the subtle sounds of Tycho that emanated out of the speaker in the background.
As usual, when our guest leave, and we're left to clean up the dishes and pack away the leftover food, I reflect on how very lucky I am to be able to do what I love- cook for others, and bond over a common food experience.
One of my favorite dishes that we served was my unconventional take on pesto. Unlike traditional pesto, this dip had a deep autumnal red hue. The color came from juicy sun tried tomatoes and the oil they were packed in. The pesto was the perfectly balanced- sweet, savory, herbaceous, and garlicky. I served the pesto on toast was a generous dollop of mashed avocado and lemon, olive oil, chili flakes and smokey salt. Make this for you friends and family! They'll be smitten. And, keep an eye out for our November gathering announcement, coming soon. We hope to see you at our table.
- 1 jar of sundried tomatoes packed in oil
- 1/2 cup of pistachios
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbs of smoked salt
- 1 tsp of aleppo pepper
- 1 tbs of rosemary, minced
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor, including the oil from the sundried tomatoes, until the mixture is smooth. If needed, add more olive oil. Serve on top of toast with mashed avocado and lemon, olive oil, chili flakes, smoked salt and pumpkin seeds.