Episode 60: Spring Dinner Party


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Green Machine Salad, Salt Baked Fish, and La Viña Cheesecake

Spring is officially here, even if the weather isn’t exactly cooperating for all of us. (We see you Upper Midwest...snow? Why?) Along with the change in season we are celebrating another ten episodes with a spring dinner party. Make a crunchy green salad with the first asparagus of the year. Follow up with an impressive salt baked fish that comes out moist and lightly seasoned by salt and herbs. Finish up with a showstopper of a cheesecake that manages to be all made in one bowl. The secret? No crust! We are so grateful you joined us for these last ten episodes. Here’s to ten more!

Green Machine Salad: MyRecipes

Celebrate early spring and asparagus with a chopped, all green salad. We loved the crunch of apple, asparagus and cabbage, tossed with green onion and basil for depth. The light red wine vinaigrette was a nice punch to this refreshing side dish. Truth be told- it was also delightful the next day for lunch.


  • Kate found using the vegetable peeler on the asparagus was an exercise in frustration. Thinly slicing on the bias worked just as well.
  • This kept at least two days in the fridge, aside from a slight blackening of the basil. If this bothers you, add the basil in when you’re ready to eat.

Salt Baked Fish: Food and Wine

Burying a whole fish in herbed salt is not just impressive but locks in moisture and flavor. As a bonus, the fish seasons itself as it cooks. Breaking open the salt shell is a fun way to start a dinner party.


  • Betsy ran into some hiccups at the store. Have your fishmonger gut the fish for you, or buy one already gutted.
  • We chose not to use red snapper since it wasn’t available. Some substitutions will work better than others. Use a firm white fish, of at least 1.5 pounds. Kate used scup. Monterey Bay Aquarium doesn’t recommend red snapper as a sustainable choice and instead prefers blacktail snapper. FishChoice.com suggests rockfish or ocean perch. A good fish store would be able to help you make a great choice.

La Viña Cheesecake: Tasting Table

Burnished caramel on the outside with a creamy white interior, this cheesecake is a sight to behold. We loved the burnt sugar outside with the almost flan-like interior. Not to mention this doesn’t need a water bath or crust. How much better can this get?


  • A ten-inch cheesecake is a lot of cheesecake. Make this for a large party or be ready to ply your grateful guests with leftovers.
  • Keep the interior nice and custardy and don’t overbake.

From the Smorgasbord:

Sleeper Hit:

Light Orange Beef and Broccoli: Pinch of Yum from Episode 53: Cooking with Citrus

Cuban Style Black Beans: Food and Wine from Episode 56: All About Beans

Kid Favorite:

Muffin Tin Pizza Bombs: The Kitchn from Episode 54: Pizza Night dinner sisters

Overall Favorite:

Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich: Minimalist Baker from Episode 56: All About Beans

Zaitoun: Yasmin Khan from Episode 58: Zaitoun Cookbook Review

86 episodes available. A new episode about every 4 days averaging 21 mins duration .