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Italian Cocktails and Dinner Outside

Risotto with asparagus, peas and lemon

What is everyone up to this weekend?  I have a suggestion for dinner if you are in the mood for a refreshing Italian cocktail and risotto.  It is still very warm here in Los Angeles and so it was fun last weekend to cook from the great produce that is available and eat dinner outside.  We had our daughter and son-in-law over with some of their friends and we cooked together to create an Italian menu for early September.

  We were the lucky recipients of some fresh tomatoes and basil plucked out of Holly's garden.  With these ingredients and some good olive oil, salt and pepper, we created a big platter of tomatoes and burrata cheese.

Followed by Ina Garten's Spring Green Risotto, it was the perfect meal.  This luscious risotto is loaded with good things such as asparagus, peas, lemon, parmesan and mascarpone cheese.
Recipe here

But the highlight of the evening were these frothy Italian cocktails called Sgroppino from Mario Batali that my daughter made for us.  They really captured all the warm goodness of early September.

They are a delicious lemony concoction made with lemon gelato, ice cold vodka, prosecco, and ice.  Here's how you make them:

  Pour one cup of iced vodka into a blender.  Add one pint of lemon gelato, one half bottle of prosecco, and one cup of ice cubes and blend until frothy and smooth.  Pour into iced Champagne flutes.  Make these, I promise you will love them.  They are somewhere between a dessert and an icy refreshing drink.

  Have a great weekend!

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