One early summer morning, Shari Lebowitz came over with loads of goodies...
Last spring I met Shari at her beautiful shop, Bespoke Designs, at Sconset Square in downtown Westport. A mutual friend was hosting a fundraiser with Shari and invited me to stop by. I was immediately in love. Shari has the most gorgeous selection of curated items for tabletop and home decor, plus a line of cheeky note cards and napkins, and an in-house design team that creates stunning invitations. If I could, I would buy the whole place. Shari and I have since become friends and we decided this summer to collaborate on a fun photo shoot to showcase her inventory and my recipes. We spent the day at my house and had so much fun! Here are the recipes I made that day and links to all of Shari’s beautiful things.
Grilled Corn with calabrian chili butter, pecornio & basil
Inspired by Mexican street corn, this easy recipe doesn’t disappoint. It is incredibly simple to make and is perfect for your next summer BBQ. Side note: if you shave the kernels off and mix them with some room temperature mascarpone, some of the Calabrian chili butter, pecorino and basil you’ll have an amazing dip. Serve it with grilled bread.
First grill your corn. While the corn is grilling, make your quick and easy Calabrian chili butter. When the corn is ready, brush it all over with the butter, grate some fresh Pecorino on top and sprinkle with basil. Voila!
Smoky Summer Gazpacho
My husband and I lived in Spain for a little while before our kids were born, and I absolutely fell in love with the country and it’s food. This is my go-to gazpacho recipe that I make every summer. I highly recommend topping it with fresh cherry tomatoes, good olive oil, flaky sea salt and basil, but feel free to dress it up any way you like. Other herbs like cilantro, tarragon and dill are delicious, and so are croutons and grilled shrimp. Even fresh corn would be fabulous on top. You do you!
Roasted Garlic Butter
What is better than roasted garlic butter?!? In my book, absolutely nothing. Slather it on toast, rub it under chicken skin before roasting, baste a steak with it before serving, pan sear shrimp in it and serve with toast points for dipping…the list goes on and on. Also, can we talk about how gorgeous this silver terrine is that we served the butter in? I mean, straight up gorgeous. Shari put a hilarious reel together on Instagram after our shoot and it’s linked for your entertainment.
What is simpler than roasting garlic until it’s caramelized? Nothing. It just takes a little bit of olive oil, salt, and patience. Once it’s roasted and cooled, there is something so gratifying about squeezing the cloves out of the bulb.
Sliders with Dill Pickle Slaw
I love pickles. A LOT. I always say, if you pickle it or smoke it I’ll eat it. When I was brainstorming ideas for our little get together I knew that I wanted to make fun, summery recipes that people could easily make for their next BBQ. And this Dill Pickle Slaw recipe really nails it. You can serve it on burgers, hot dogs or grilled chicken sandwiches, as a side with kebabs or skewers, in pasta salads, and the list goes on.
If you are making sliders with the slaw on top, it’s fun to garnish them with a cornichon pickle and a pickled onion. Use a pretty bamboo skewer to hold them in place and the sliders automatically become more elegant.
Sparkling Cucumber Mint Lemonade
This is a very refreshing drink. It’s like drinking leveled up spa water. It’s definitely kid friendly, but you can easily make it NOT kid friendly by adding your favorite gin, vodka, tequila, mezcal, bourbon, or even champagne in lieu of the sparkling water. There are so many options. I’ve also found that adding strawberries is extremely delicious.
I made the cucumber ribbons for the inside of the glasses using a good quality vegetable peeler, like OXO brand. The goal is to get thick enough strips, so dig the blade into the end of the Persian cucumber and pull down to get nice, long strips. Wrap a ribbon or two around the inside of each glass before pouring the drink into the glasses.
Sour Cream Layer Cake with Roasted Strawberry Frosting
Do not be dismayed by the fancy looks of this cake. It is incredibly simple to make, and something that my kids love helping with. The cake is made in one bowl with a rubber spatula for mixing. I made the frosting in a standing mixer, but it could easily be made with handheld beaters, or even by hand. The cake stand is another story. It is stunningly beautiful. A glass piece of art. I’m a sucker for cake stands and I have a large collection of them. I hope to add this to mine one day.
You can make this frosting days ahead of time if needed, just bring it to room temperature before frosting the cake. I like the strawberry seeds in the frosting because they add texture and make the cake more interesting, and also because, let’s be real, it’s much easier to add them to the frosting, but you could strain them out if you prefer.