Stark, whose new Manhattan restaurant Amalia features dishes inspired by the Mediterranean, decided to create a "Shoestring" menu featuring foods that are familiar but have an exotic accent.
Her Mediterranean Carrot Salad has chopped vegetables and a light, lemony vinaigrette, and is topped with olives, oranges, honey, almonds and orange water.
The meatballs are made of ground lamb and topped with a Moroccan-style yogurt sauce. And the dessert, a strawberry semifreddo, is at once sweet, cold, frothy and fruity.
The best news? You can make this menu for three friends — and it won't set you back more than $40.
MEDITERRANEAN CARROT SALAD WITH GREEN OLIVES AND ORANGE
1 lb. sweet carrots, peeled, and sliced into long ribbons
1 small red onions, thinly sliced
1 bulb fennel, finely sliced
6 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 cup pitted green olives, sliced lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon orange flower water
1 head butter lettuce
1 orange, supremed
fresh mint leaves
fresh cilantro leaves
toasted slivered almonds
- Whisk oil, lemon juice, orange peel, coriander and honey in large bowl to blend.
- Add carrots, red onions, fennel, and radish and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in olives. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
- Stir salad to redistribute dressing. Garnish edges of plate with butter lettuce, orange supremes, almonds, mint leaves and cilantro.
- Mound carrot mixture in center of plate, drizzle with orange flower water.
LAMB MEATBALLS WITH CUCUMBER-MINT YOGURT AND COUSCOUS
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 pound ground lamb
1 cup blanched almonds, toasted and ground
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup raisins, coarsely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
2 cups yogurt sauce (see recipe)
- In a small bowl, soak bread crumbs in milk. In a medium bowl, combine the lamb, almonds, soaked bread crumbs, onion, raisins, egg, garlic, parsley, cilantro, and chili pepper flakes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle olive oil onto a sheet pan you will place the meatballs on and rub oil into the palm of both hands.
- Form meat mixture into meatballs 1/2-inch in diameter. The recipe makes about 30 golf ball-sized meatballs.
- Heat oven to 400, place meatballs on a baking sheet and cook about 12 minutes until heated through.
- Serve warm over couscous and drizzled with yogurt sauce and, parsley and sesame seeds.
To Make Moroccan Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup yogurt
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely grated
1/4 cup mint, minced
3 tablespoons lemon zest, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Place the yogurt in a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Allow to drain at least two hours to overnight.
- Toss the cucumber in 2 teaspoons salt and place in a sieve to drain for at least two hours.
- Combine in a medium bowl, the yogurt, cucumber, mint, and the preserved lemon. Season with salt and pepper.
2 pints strawberries
3 egg whites
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup fresh rhubarb, cut in 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup sugar
- Puree one pint of the berries in a blender until smooth.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine strawberry puree, egg whites and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. With the whisk attachment, beat until frothy and light, about 2 minutes.
- Very gradually add sugar to mixer and mix thoroughly.
- Fold in whipped cream by hand with a rubber spatula.
- Place in freezer for one hour. Remove and mix thoroughly with a rubber spatula. Place in a spring form pan lined with plastic wrap; return to freezer and freeze until firm, about 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, slice the remaining pint of strawberries; toss with the remaining vanilla, the lemon juice the rhubarb, and the 1/2 cup sugar with 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes until rhubarb is tender. Chill.
- When ready to serve, remove semifreddo from freezer and let sit at room temperature 5 minutes. Unmold, sliced into wedges and top with sliced strawberry and rhubarb mixture.