There's no special occasion except the rare day that you all happen to have off work. The texts go around in the morning discussing what time and where to meet up. And then you all come together with a mishmash of food and drink, and pass the day with good conversation and frequent laughter. No need for the stress of final preparations or the fear of a dish not turning out.
The simplest dishes work best for this type of gathering--usually including a stop by the market to pick up some cheese, meat and bread (plus some wine or beer). This time around I also wanted to include something with a little bit of veggies--I was thinking a simple salad, but then remembered this artichoke pesto I had purchased from the deli of a local grocery store a few weeks ago. The price tag was rather high for the prepared version, but the ingredients were straight-forward and uncomplicated, leading me to want to recreate it on my own. A quick chop of garlic and cheese, pop open the artichoke hearts, and then right into the food processor and it was ready to go. No fuss, no muss. Perfect for all of those last-minute gatherings this summer (and quite possibly a simple treat if you are needing snacks for a film you are catering??).
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. red pepper flakes
Place all of the ingredients into a food processor. Puree until it forms into a pesto-like consistency, adding more olive oil if necessary to thin it out. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature with crackers.