Sunday dinners should be the best ones, I think. They should undo the working week’s headaches and the weekend’s debauchery. I’ve been fortunate to have a great group of friends in New York with whom I cook most Sundays. Our “Sunday suppers,” as we (so very creatively) call them, often unfold in a Sunday afternoon walk around town. One of us throws out an idea, like a kite, and we buffet it around until it’s something that excites us all. Everyone brings something interesting to the table—O., who worked in a Southern California taqueria, calls the shots on fish tacos; R., also known as “The Knife,” dresses greens with the same pumpkin-seed oil he used in Austria—and the results are equal parts ambitious and delicious.
This particular Sunday, we made the eponymous foods above. It’s the caboose end of the tomato train, so the idea for a salad was a quick yea. Our two experiences grilling steaks prepared Jaden’s way had been so juicy, so perfectly medium-rare and flavorful, that we decided to try it with lamb. The gratin? I’m not sure I remember the thought process behind it. I think it had to do with our collective love of butter, as well as a sneaky feeling that mashed potatoes would gild the fatted lamb lily.
Recipes after the jump.
Heirloom Tomato Salad
1 pound heirloom tomatoes
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt, to taste
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
Thinly slice the large tomatoes and cut smaller ones into wedges. Arrange on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and dot sparingly with vinegar.
Grilled Lamb [adapted from Jaden’s recipe]
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
Half an hour to one hour before you plan to grill, coat steaks with a massive amount of salt on each side. Pepper lightly. Leave, undisturbed, for desired waiting time. Heat grill on high. Rinse steaks and pat dry. Drizzle each steak with 1 tsp of olive oil, and cook 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Allow steaks to rest for 5-7 minutes after removal from grill before slicing and serving.
[There is no recipe for the spinach gratin, I’m sorry to say. I improvised all of it. There was flour, butter, milk, nutmeg, Parmesan and spinach. Breadcrumbs and Parmesan on top. It’s almost midnight, and my batteries are low. Sorry.]