This summer menu was served at the very first Vendredi lunch back in 2013. It is a great formula if you enjoy hosting and cooking for a big crowd. The dishes can be prepared in advance so the cooking can be spread over a few hours. The meatballs and tomatoes can be reheated before serving while the other dishes are perfect served at room temperature.


Serves 6

For the courgette cake:
3 eggs
170g white flour
1 sachet of baking powder
120ml white wine
50ml olive oil
1 courgette, coarsely grated
120g goat cheese or feta cheese
½ a bunch of coriander, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g fresh ricotta, to serve

For the oven baked tomatoes:
10 plum tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the quinoa salad:
300g quinoa
100g rocket salad
150g feta cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
1 handful tarragon, finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the meatballs:
900g minced meat, mix of pork and beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp pine nuts

Start with the courgette cake. Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and beat in the eggs. Incorporate the wine and oil, add a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Finally add the courgette, cheese and coriander and combine well together. Pour into a lined bread tin and bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean from the dough. Bring out of the oven and allow to cool down on a metal grid.

Bring the oven down to 150°C. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthways, place them skin side down on a baking tray and sprinkle with the sugar, salt and pepper and a drizzle of oil and vinegar. Place in the oven and bake for about two hours. The tomatoes will shrink while cooking, transfer to a smaller dish for serving, pouring the tasty juice over the tomatoes.

Pour the quinoa in a saucepan, cover with one and a half its volume of water, place the lid on and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to the minimum and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it rest for another 10 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large serving dish. Using a fork to separate the grains, mix in the tarragon, lemon, olive oil, rocket and crumble over the feta cheese. Season to taste.

Combine the minced meat, onion, parsley, pine nuts and garlic together by hand or using a fork. With your hands, form a total of about 18 meatballs, and place them on a lined baking tray. Cook the meatballs for about 15 minutes at 200°C, turning them over halfway through cooking. If you are preparing them ahead of time and plan to re-heat before serving, you can reduce the baking time slightly.

Cut the cake into small pieces and place on a serving tray. Transfer the ricotta to a small serving bowl, break it up a little with a fork and top off with a drizzle of olive oil. Bring to the table together with all the other dishes and serve as a nice buffet.

This recipe is from Marina Bautier's cookbook Vendredi.