This Christmas, my husband, surprised me with a fabulously thoughtful gift, the Tavern on the Green cookbook. The story behind the cookbook relates to a recent trip we took to NYC at the beginning of the holiday season. In preparation for our visit, he asked me numerous times what I wanted to do while visiting the big city. I almost said, “Anything! I would be happy doing anything”; however, this time, there actually were a few things I wanted to squeeze into our getaway. I was looking forward to seeing the beautifully decorated Christmas windows along Fifth Avenue, lunch at Bergdorf Goodman, a walk through Central Park, drinks at the EssexHouse Hotel, and most importantly… visiting the recently renovated Tavern on the Green, even if it was just for dessert or a quick drink. I have never been to Tavern on the Green and, in my mind, it seemed so romantic, so quintessential New York City.
Unfortunately, due to work obligations, plans with friends, and getting wrapped up in fun elsewhere in the city the restaurant, when we arrived the Tavern was booked for a special event.
While I still haven’t managed to make my way back to the restaurant, I have quite enjoyed reading through my cookbook. The author, Jennifer Oz, is the daughter of the founder and owner of Tavern on the Green. She now plays a vital role in running the restaurant. In the cookbook, she shares detailed stories about swanky parties held at the restaurant, the famous guests that attended the parties and interesting tidbits on the development of the restaurant throughout the years. Interwoven, through the montage of colorful stories, are beautiful pictures and delicious recipes straight from the pages of their menu. This recipe is an adaptation of one of their menu items. I have also pieced together a variation of their Avocado Tartare.
Orzo with Bruschetta of Heirloom Tomatoes
- 1 ½ pounds heirloom tomatoes
- ⅓ cup flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Pinch salt
- Pinch pepper
- 2 cups orzo
- Orzo – cook orzo according to package instructions. To “salt from within” – intensifying flavor, while using less salt – be sure to add salt to your boiling water. Once cooked, place orzo in an ice bath to cool.Tomatoes – pick fun, colorful, crazy shaped tomatoes. Core the tomatoes and cut them into ½ inch cubes.In a small bowl, mix the chopped parsley, garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Pour mixture over heirloom tomatoes and toss to coat. Divide the orzo among serving dishes and spoon the bruschetta on top of the orzo – sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.