A Winter Solstice Dinner

Last night, our friends Alex and Sarah hosted a lovely winter solstice dinner to which we were invited.  Their house was decorated for the season and the warmth of the lights, candles, and the company -- not to mention the delicious food -- made the longest night of the year quite enjoyable.



The meal began with creamy potato soup topped with a drizzle of truffle oil.



A beautiful evening complete with good conversation, candlelight, and poetry.

We enjoyed a variety of salads followed by a main course of salmon baked with celariac and leeks garnished with a celariac-cream foam.
The cheese course included cheeses brought by their guests . . .
and a delicious homemade ricotta accompanied by pears, oranges, and pomegranates.
Apple-pear cake for dessert accompanied by coffee made with beans roasted by our hosts.

 

They asked us to bring a palate-cleansing course for after the salmon and before the cheese, so I opted for meyer lemon sorbet, which, not coincidentally, gave me the chance to eat and cook with yet another kind of citrus.

This sorbet is easy as can be to make, thoroughly palate cleansing, and pretty tasty.  And if, like me, you especially like the tart yet subtly sweet flavor of meyer lemons, which seem to be in season for only a short time, this sorbet is a great way to showcase them.


Meyer Lemon Sorbet

2 cups filtered water
2 cups superfine white cane sugar
2 cups freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice (requires about 10 or 11 lemons)
5 tsp. fine meyer lemon zest

Make a simple syrup with the water and sugar.  Stir together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar completely melts.  Remove from heat and cool.  While it cools, thoroughly wash the lemons and zest about three of them.  Then juice the lemons.  Filter the juice through a sieve to remove any tiny seeds and pulp.


Add the lemon juice and zest to the simple syrup.  Stir it well and chill thoroughly.

Once chilled, freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker.
 
Makes about 5 cups.

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