During the last year in India I decided I missed the “3 Fs” more than anything else – family, friends, and food – and upon arriving in New York City on June 28th, I had one thing on my mind.

I might have overdone it a bit.  Cheese and crackers, a burger, fries, and prosecco on the first night was a little much and needless to say I wasn’t feeling too well. But what doesn’t kill us just makes us stronger and I wasn’t about to let a little upset stomach stop me from reintroducing myself to NYC cuisine. Among my other favorite NYC activities, I spent the first few days catching up on some important episodes of The Real Housewives of New Jersey (omg Theresa is still insane) and watching the Food Network. My friends and I were planning a dinner party over the weekend and we were going to order from one of the best pizza places in NYC, Artichoke Pizza, until Ina Garten set me straight with her Roasted Salmon Nicoise Platter. Ina was cooking her amazing meal for a baby shower but I couldn’t think of a good reason why a group of 20-somethings couldn’t eat it before going out dancing on a Saturday night.

Thus, our dinner party plans changed slightly with the help of the Barefoot Contessa and the Union Square Farmer’s Market, which is where my friend and I headed on Saturday morning. The fresh, seasonal vegetables on display made us realize we had made the right choice and with all dinner party attendees being Seattleites, salmon would most definitely be a hit.

We used Ina’s recipe (Roasted Salmon Nicoise Platter) but also added a few other vegetables such as heirloom tomatoes and purple carrots. I accidentally forgot the olives at home and grabbed a bag of spinach from the fridge instead of arugula on our way to our friend’s place to make the dish, but it turned out spectacularly nonetheless.  I highly recommend this dish for your next baby shower or any other event you plan to host. Just make sure not to place the purple carrots on top of the boiled eggs.

** And don’t worry about our missed opportunity to have Artichoke Pizza for dinner. We grabbed a slice at 4am on our way home from dancing.

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