Wondering what culinary creation to whip up this weekend? Inspirato Destination Concierges have shared some of their favorite recipes here to help transform your ordinary day into something special. Create a beautiful appetizer, mix up a fancy cocktail, or for something really fun, set up a lobster boil in your backyard—all inspired by some of our favorite destinations.
If you’ve stayed with Inspirato in Sonoma, you may have been lucky enough to experience the amazing brownies made by destination concierge Judith Henderson. Though she keeps her brownie recipe top secret—you’ll have to visit to taste for yourself—she did share this gorgeous endive flower appetizer with us, which she also makes for Inspirato guests. It’s the perfect thing to make at home for your family to brighten up the day and put you in a “spring in Sonoma” mood.
Endive Flower Appetizer (6-8 servings)
4-5 heads of endive
12 oz of blue cheese crumbles or goat cheese
2 slices of red onion chopped fine
1/2 c. toasted walnut pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Red or yellow bell pepper thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Toast walnuts: in a small bowl mix a half cup of walnuts with a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss on low heat until they’re fragrant. Let them cool, then chop and set aside.
2. Cut the bottoms off the endive heads. After you pick a few leaves off you’ll have to cut the bottom again. Arrange the leaves on a circular plate with the bigger leaves on the outside. Do one row at a time.
3. Mix all the other ingredients together in a bowl.
4. Put a teaspoon or so of the cheese mixture at the bottom of the leaf. Stick a slice of pepper behind it. When the first row is finished, start a second row.
5. Garnish the center with a live flower or a small bowl containing the remainder of the cheese.
Jalapeño Cucumber Margarita (6 servings)
1/2 c. fresh lime juice
1/2 c. white tequila
1/4 c. orange liqueur (Triple sec, grand, mariner, or cointreau)
1/4 c. simple syrup (mix 1/2 cup hot water with 1/2 cup white sugar)
5 thin slices cucumber
1 jalapeño halved lengthwise
1. Mix all ingredients together, except for club soda.
2. Let sit in refrigerator at least an hour. The longer it sits, the more infused the drink becomes with jalapeño and cucumber.
3. Top glasses with salt, add crushed ice and a touch of club soda.
4. Fill the rest of the cup with the drink mixture.
5. Decorate with sliced cucumber and jalapeño.
Maine Lobster Boil (4 servings)
4 Maine Lobsters
3 lb. fresh clams
4 ears of corn halved
2 lb. of red potatoes
Sticks of butter for melting
1. Add 8 to 10 cups of water to a large lobster pot and heat to a boil.
2. Steam all ingredients in large pot: lobsters first, then corn and potatoes, top with clams.
3. Remove lobsters and strain the other ingredients.
4. Serve with butter.