Help! I'm having a draining week at work which has sapped my usual creativity in menu planning for a small dinner party for 6 people on Saturday. I need suggestions, particularly for the second course and dessert, but any other critiques are welcome as well. The limitation is that my only oven will be occupied from about 11 a.m. on with the pork, roasting at 250, so whatever I prepare for the other courses needs to be able to either be done way in advance or done without using the oven.
Antipasto: thin crostini with avocado and marinated sardines (from Paula Wolfort's "The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen")
Primo: this is where I need the most help. Maybe a rice timballo or a farro/ricotta tart? I don't want to do a salad because the first course has vinegar and I don't want the rest of the menu to have any acid that would compete with wine, as we are a wine-centric crowd. My thought was that I could make the timballo/tart before I put the roast in the oven and just reheat it at the oven temperature prior to serving.
Secondo: the Slow-Roasted Porchetta recipe from the LA Times (link to previous discussion of it below).
Contorni: Marcella Hazan's "smothered" cabbage (slow cooked on the stove) and roasted root vegetables (potato, turnip, etc.)
Dessert: I need help here. A tiramisu is kind of pedestrian, but it does meet my "no bake, make ahead" requirement. Any other thoughts?
Thanks in advance!