The thunderstorms mostly kept the “dinner in the garden” indoors, but we managed to enjoy our cocktails in the garden. To create an herbaceous tom collins, I made rosemary simple syrup and added parsley juice for a bit of green color; lemon basil, marjoram, summer savory and cucumbers garnished the glasses.
To begin the meal, prosciutto with two kinds of melon, a classic orange canteloupe and then a Galia, which is a canteloupe-honeydew cross, perhaps the meatiest melon I’ve ever tasted. I marinated pork butt from Dickson’s Farmstand Meats in sugar, sesame oil, garlic and shallots. The sugar caramelized and burned to create an amazing crust. The best pairing with the pork was a peach and roasted pepper salad with feta, basil and red onions. I also passed large platters of grilled gold bar zucchini with ricotta and mint and heirloom tomatoes: striped germans, green cherokees, brandywines, black princes, sun golds and black cherries and indigos, which are the darkest, blackest tomato discovered so far.
For dessert we had cheese - Manchester from Consider Bardwell, Moses Sleeper from Jasper Hill and chevre from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery - and apricots which had been marinated in bourbon and brown sugar and warmed on the grill for a few minutes.