Since my arrival, Luigi has gone above and beyond to make my settling in easier. He has put away the laundry, bought groceries, driven me to and from the station and nearly every night when I get back from Milan, he is in the kitchen preparing dinner. He has done it all for the past couple of months and all of his help is something I appreciate more than I can say.
So, with this past weekend off from work, it was time to show him some of my appreciation by planning and cooking a Saturday night feast!
For aperitivo, (a necessity since I didn’t quite realize how long the rest of the meal would take to prepare) we enjoyed aperol spritz along with nuts, olives, and bread with garlic oil and fresh basil.
For the main dish, I prepared baked herb-crusted chicken. Although it took a bit longer than expected, it was delicious and gave us a hint of spring that I have been so desperately craving with a nice balance of fresh herbs and lemon. And to add some more vegetables to the dish, I coated cherry tomatoes with the left over bread crumb and herb mixture and threw them in alongside the chicken.
To go with the chicken, I made a kale salad with a lemon vinaigrette and almonds.
This recipe was a great discovery! The strong flavors of the shallots and lemon in the dressing were a perfect match for the hearty kale. Plus, we dressed more kale than we could eat and although dressed salads don’t usually make for nice leftovers, the next day the kale was even more delicious. Luigi made us piadina with it and thinly sliced pecorino for the perfect afternoon snack! We will definitely be making that salad again, especially as kale gets better with warmer weather on the way!
Okay, back to our dinner…it looked a little something like this…
And lastly, for dessert I whipped up in just a few minutes two mugs of chocolate cake. They were a bit overdone and could have used some cream to moisten them up, but they were still enjoyed by at least one person at the table.
It was a nice evening at home and a first attempt of many to show Luigi thanks for all he has done to make my first months back as smooth as possible!