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Jul 11, 2013 01:19 PM

Tailgating at the Santa Fe Opera

We're planning on attending two performances of the SFO this month, and tailgating, as usual. Even though we've been doing this every summer for 20 years, and we have enjoyed a number of great meals with our friends, I always feel like we could do something more original. Since this Saturday's opera is by Rossini, we're really in the market for Italian dishes. Next week's opera is French, so I'm sure there is a universe of French picnic dishes to choose from.
Tailgating in Santa Fe is similar to going to a really great new restaurant. It always seems like the people at the next table ordered better than you!

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  1. This is what I would serve for Rossini:
    Grilled veggies (eggplant, red pepper, squashes,) chilled, drizzle with olive oil and serve with fresh mozz.
    A nice cold pasta dish with olive oil packed tuna, capers, parsley, and a lemony vinaigrette.
    Or, a panzanella salad with tuna, capers, tomato, white beans, and lots of basil.
    A simple green salad.
    Bring your block of Parmesan cheese and the microplane for over everything!
    And how about this recipe for dessert:
    You could even add torn pieces of sponge cake and make single serving trifles (in a mason jar, of course
    )Prosecco or prosecco cocktails ( a must)

    For the French opera:
    A good loaf of bread
    chilled artichokes with homemade aioli
    fingerling potatoes with lots of sea salt (and aioli)
    asparagus mimosa
    Quiche (only for real men though)
    Champagne cocktails OR a French Rose'

    Enjoy! I only wish that I was going with you!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: pagesinthesun

      Excellent recommendations, Mary. Wish you were going also. Grazie, Mercie beaucoup,

    2. I second the recommendation for panzanella for Rossini.

      As for the French opera, well, I'd have to know which opera. If its the pearl fishers, oysters are de rigeur. If its Carmen, tapas would be appropriate. It really depends. ;D

      4 Replies
      1. re: ePressureCooker

        Thanks so much. It's actually an operetta by Offenbach, called "The Grand Duchesse of Gerolstein", starring Santa Fe's own Susan Graham. Should be very funny and light-hearted.

        1. re: tfallath

          Oh well, in that case, perhaps some cold roast chicken, a cheese and fruit plate, and a good bottle of French wine.

            1. re: tfallath

              Just avoid mixing protein (meat, cheese, eggs) and starch (potatoes, rice, bread) -- that'll make you sleepy, just like Thanksgiving. And you don't wan to sleep through the opera. ;D

      2. Gazpacho! (I know it's more Spanish but.. maybe your friends won't know:-) ) Red and or White / gazpacho I'm think you could put a pretty great southwest Twist to it also, (hatch green chilli oil?)

        -Grilled Figs with Prosciutto

        I would also go with Prosciutto and Melon as an app. I haven't checked the weather but I'm guessing it's pretty hot down there?

        Flat Bread "pizza" cooked on the grill?

        Sounds like fun - I'd make it down but my transporter is out of whack at the moment - dang dylithium crystals...

        3 Replies
        1. re: sparky403

          Those crystals will do it every time! Might do gazpacho next week. Believe it or not, it's still a bit early in NM for home-grown tomatoes. Very chilly, windy, dry spring, followed by a brutal dry conditions. Finally getting some rain!
          Figs look awesome! Thanks.

          1. re: tfallath

            Too early for tomatoes? You must live on the Colorado plateau then...high altitude...

            1. re: tfallath

              Sounds like a great time - I am truly jealous... Barring getting any new crystals over the weekend... If I win the lotto:-)

              Oh BTW - White Gazpacho is made with Green grapes and Cucumbers...


          2. Operatic tailgating, I LOVE it. I live in South Bend, IN, where Notre Dame football rules the tailgating scene.

            For Italian, I recommend trying an all'Amatriciana pasta sauce, if you can locate genuine guanciale (a cured pork jowl item). That's a sauce that tastes better after a day or more of aging. I follow loosely this recipe:


            For French, I'd consider a quiche. Great at room temp.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bada Bing

              Excellent ideas. Our neighbor raises chickens and we have more eggs than we know what to do with, so quiche it is! I didn't go to ND, but my best childhood friend did. I've always been a huge Irish fan! Went to a few games there way back when. Thanks!

              1. re: tfallath

                Good days finally to be an Irish fan. I'm teaching a few footballers in my current Summer class. Fingers crossed for the coming year...