Feast of the Seven Fishes {dinner party} and Rosemary Olive Oil Cake {recipe}

feast of seven fishes, clams and chorizo with white wine

Our friend Keith is one of the most talented pro-am cooks we know. This is his Feast of the Seven Fishes (seven Italian seafood courses for 15 people!) , with a cameo by moi at the end. Very hopeful that Keith makes this an annual tradition…

1: Marinated Sardines and Cannellini (white) Bean Puree with Balsamic Bruschetta

with a little porcine support in the back…
feast of seven fishes, salumi and sardine bruschetta

2: Tuna Croquettes

I loved these. I ate too many.
feast seven fishes, tuna croquettes

3. Clams and Spicy Italian Sausage in White Wine

wine: 2010 Monastero Suori Cistercensi ‘Coenobium’
feast of seven fishes, clams and chorizo in white wine

4. Shrimp in Tomato Sauce

This might have been a shrimp version of Lobster Fra Diavolo, but I have no clue because my fork didn’t come within 10 feet of those histamine instigators.
feast seven fishes, shrimp

5. Baccala in Tomato Sauce (served over Polenta)

feast of seven fishes, baccala


feast of seven fishes - polenta

6. Stuffed Squid

feast seven fishes, stuffed squid

7. Sautéed Sole with Olive Tapenade

[recipe] found in Saveur!
feast seven fishes, sole olive tapenade

Dessert: Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Olive Oil Ice Cream and Candied Rosemary

I baked the cake and candied the rosemary. No bigs.

Keith MADE the olive oil ice cream! BIGS. No, HUGES. (Not sure which, if any, recipe Keith used, but always-reliable chef and author David Lebovitz has a recipe)

(If I can bake a cake, you can, too. Of course, I’ve already had practice. Recipe below…)
rosemary olive oil cake, olive oil ice cream

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Candied Rosemary {recipe}

almost completely the recipe in Mario Batali’s Babbo cookbook, with my modifications


4 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
for serving: Candied Rosemary (recipe below) and Olive Oil Ice Cream


Preheat oven to 325⁰F. Spray a 10-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

(Note: I used a 9″-inch round cake pan. The kind of pan you use will slightly affect your baking time.)

In a bowl of an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment to beat the eggs for 30 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very foamy and pale in color. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Using a spatula, gently stir the rosemary into the batter.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through for even color. The cake is done when it is golden brown, springs back when touched, and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

(Note: My cake in a 9-inch round cake pan baked in 40 minutes, but it was a little dry, so on my next cake, will start checking at 30 minutes.)

Allow the cake to cool briefly in the pan, then tip out onto a cake rack to continue cooling.

Candied Rosemary {recipe}


1 cup sugar
½ cup water
fresh rosemary sprigs
superfine sugar for dusting (not powdered sugar)


Bring 1 cup sugar and water to simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer while stirring until sugar dissolves.

Add rosemary sprigs and stir gently to coat rosemary sprigs with syrup. Remove rosemary sprigs from syrup (I used chopsticks, but you can use small tongs), gently shake to remove excess syrup and place on a cooling rack or something else that will allow excess syrup to drip off the rosemary.

Dip each sprig into a small bowl of super fine sugar and turn to coat completely. Tap rosemary against side of bowl or shake it gently to get rid of excess sugar. Place coated rosemary on parchment to cool and dry.

Thank you for an amazing dinner, Keith, and thanks to Danielle for hosting!
keith's feast of seven fishes dinnery party table

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