Cooking My First Ferry Dinner: Zucchini Socca with Pesto & Salad with Tomato-Paprika Dressing
by Ali Seiter
After living in the veg*n utopia known as Ferry House for just over two weeks now, I finally enjoyed the immense honor—though rather intimidating prospect—of cooking dinner for the co-op’s 21 members. Two different Fairies team up every night to provide a wholesome vegan meal for the entire Ferry community, and last night the house cooking schedule united myself and my lovely housemate Lily as the temporary Ferry chefs. Seeing as I crafted a 60-person dinner last Friday, the responsibility of providing delicious food for a third of that many diners shouldn’t have seemed so nervewracking, but I certainly hold the opinion of my fellow Fairies—with whom I interact on a daily basis—in higher regard than that of a handful of conference-goers with whom I most likely will not encounter for a long while. Needless to say, I sought to impress my housemates with my culinary prowess, and turned to the foolproof, crowd-pleasing gastronomic masterpiece of socca to accomplish the looming task.
Lily and I employed Beth’s recipe for Zucchini Socca with Caramelized Onions (multiplied eightfold) as the main dish of our dinner, pairing it with Kristy’s Pistachio Pesto and accompanying it with a salad of tender lettuce leaves, sliced mushrooms, carrot coins, and leftover house brown rice tossed with Tomato-Paprika Dressing. After hollering “DINNER!” to bade my housemates come eat, I jovially explained socca’s origins as a chickpea flour pancake from Nice, France at the curious inquiries of my fellow Fairies, who finished off five casserole dishes worth of socca in mere moments. I suppose you could call the dinner a success.
Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpea flour, pistachios. Whole Grain—brown rice. Vegetables—garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots. Leafy Greens—kale, lettuce.
While the anticipation of cooking my first dinner for my beloved Fairies caused me a bit of anxiety, part of me desires to halt my studies and become the permanent Ferry House Chef. Blame the Italian grandma in me, but nourishing loved ones with satisfying, healthy food that subjects neither the animals or the environment to harm proves astoundingly rewarding. I eagerly look forward to next week, when I can again don the Ferry House Chef hat with another of my dear housemates.
Until next time, Ali.