PLATTERS AND BOARDS | RECIPE

This visual cornucopia of a cookbook is THE guide to entertaining with effortless style. Celebrated author and food blogger Shelly Westerhausen shares the secrets to creating casually chic spreads anyone can make and everyone will enjoy (and envy). Organised by time of day, 40 contemporary arrangements are presented with gorgeous photography, easy–to–prepare recipes, suggested meat and drink pairings and notes on preparation and presentation.

Helpful advice includes tips on portioning, picking surfaces and vessels, pairing complementary textures and flavours, plus a handy chart featuring board suggestions for a variety of occasions (from holiday parties to baby showers). PLATTERS AND BOARDS is an inspiring housewarming or hostess gift and resource for throwing unforgettable get–togethers.

Shelly Westerhausen is the author of VEGETARIAN HEARTLAND and the founder of the blog Vegetarian Ventures. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her boyfriend, Wyatt.

The following recipe is from Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion by Shelly Westerhausen with Wyatt Worcel


FONDUE SPREAD

Fondue (the French word for “melt”) was a popular party theme in the fifties, sixties, and seventies in the United States, and it’s still just as thrilling to have a fondue party today as it was back then! With little preparation required and a communal serving style, fondue is an interactive way to bring people together at the table.

STRATEGY: Dice and prepare as much of the food ahead of time as you can. Steam the vegetables and cook the fondue right before eating. Look for color-coded fondue spears
so that each guest can keep track of their own eating utensils (especially if guests are eating directly from the spears instead of transferring to their plates and using forks).

DRINK PAIRING: Serve with an aromatic white wine like a Riesling. If you want to serve something more unique, add a splash of Kirsch, a German cherry brandy, as it is traditionally added to many cheese fondue recipes.

WYATT’S MEATY SUGGESTION: Salami and cheese are already a delicious match, but when this salty meat is dipped in warm fondue, it reaches an entirely new level of mouth-watering.

SERVES 6

  • Triple Cheese Truffle Oil Fondue (recipe follows)
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 cups [170 g] snap peas
  • 3 apples, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cups [480 g] seedless grapes
  • 1 pumpernickel loaf, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 French bread loaf, cut into bite-size pieces

1. Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot and place in the centre of your serving table.

2. Working in batches, lightly steam the broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and bell peppers. Transfer the veggies to a platter with the snap peas and set on the serving table. Lightly toss the apple slices in lemon juice, place on a plate with the grapes and put on the serving table.

3. Combine the two breads on the last plate and place on the serving table.


Triple Cheese Truffle Oil Fondue

MAKES 1 1/2 CUPS [400 G]

  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup [240 ml] dry white wine
  • 11/2 cups [110 g] shredded white
  • Cheddar cheese
  • 11/2 cups [110 g] shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup [80 g] shredded Emmental cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 11/2 tsp white truffle oil

1. Rub the garlic all over the inside of a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and cornstarch and whisk together. Slowly pour in the white wine while whisking. Turn the heat to medium and let cook until simmering. Once simmering, add small handfuls of the shredded cheeses to the mixture, constantly whisking and making sure the cheese has completely melted before adding another handful. Once all the cheese has been added and melted, remove from the heat and season with pepper.

2. Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot and drizzle with truffle oil. Serve right away.


Platters and Boards is published on the 20th of March 2018. Find out more here

COOK BEAUTIFUL | STYLE YOUR WINTER TABLE WITH ATHENA CALDERONE

Athena Calderone cooks with internationally acclaimed chefs, hosts stunning dinner parties for luxury publications, and showcases it all on EyeSwoon, an online destination for food, fashion, and design. And in Cook Beautiful, she’s revealing the secrets to preparing and presenting gorgeous meals. Included are 100 seasonal recipes with step-by-step advice on everything from prep to presentation—from artfully layering a peach and burrata salad, to searing a perfect steak. Organised by season, each section ends with a menu for entertaining and ideas for table decor. Following in the tradition of EyeSwoon, this book is where design meets food, where culinary tradition marries food styling, where home chefs become experts. These are beautiful, tasteful dishes to make for friends and family, with advice that will inspire you to create visually stunning, and still wholly delicious, culinary masterpieces.

The following is an extract from Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone (ABRAMS Books)


THE WINTER TABLE

Rather than mourn winter’s waning light, embrace the darkness with lush, moody décor and a warm, cosy vibe. Here, saturated grey linen, rumpled for added texture, serves as the backdrop for simple black ceramics, mismatched brass candlesticks, and a rambling arrangement of delicate flowers and ferns. A handmade touch—no matter how small—is the best way to add warmth to a table. For this meal at home with friends, I made ink-stained paper menu cards, adorning them with fragrant eucalyptus leaves. The overall feel is intimate, refined, and just a little decadent—like the perfect winter meal. 

N o . 1 

O N  T H E  M E N U

There are few things more festive than handwritten menus—even when they’re not actually written by hand. Rather than hiring a calligrapher, select a scrolling script font and pop some pretty paper into your printer. Here, I used watercolour paper, tearing the edges and dabbing on watered-down ink, which bleeds to form a subtle, organic pattern.

N o . 2 

W E L L  S E A S O N E D

During citrus season, I love to flavour sea salt with a blend of zest and herbs. My recipe not only livens up roast fish or poultry, it also serves as a mouth-watering memento of the meal for guests to take home.

N o . 3 

D A R K  M AT T E R

We change our wardrobes with the seasons, so why not our dishes? These days, investing in darker, moodier place settings for winter isn’t particularly pricey. Chic—and cheap!—pieces can be found at stores like West Elm, CB2, and even IKEA.

N o . 4 

L E T  T H E R E  B E  L I G H T S

A matched pair of candlesticks in the middle of your table can feel a little predictable. Instead, add visual interest—and set a casual, modern mood—with an odd-numbered grouping of vintage finds in a variety of heights and styles. Dark-colored tapers are an especially cosy touch on cold nights.

N o . 5 

S P I C E  T H I N G S  U P

Whole spices like nutmeg, allspice, star anise, and cinnamon are too beautiful to keep hidden away in a drawer. And, especially during the holiday season, their sweet, warm scents feel festive without being overpowering. Here, I used the sculptural little gems to decorate a side table, alongside spicy sachets that guests can use at home to simmer mulled wine.

N o . 6 

P R I Z E  R I B B O N S

Words to live by: Never pass up a spool of pretty ribbon. If you keep some on hand, you’ll find many lovely ways to use it, from holding together cutlery to binding bouquets—and, of course, tying up presents. Velvet varieties add elegant texture and subtle sheen to winter décor.

N o . 7 

W R A P  S TA R

Gauzy linen, available at most fabric stores, can serve as a beautiful and unexpected alternative to wrapping paper. Simply cut or tear a large square—leaving the edges unfinished—place a gift in the centre, and form a loose knot on top, tucking in a few green sprigs for a decorative touch.

N o . 8 

C I R C L E  O F  L I F E

Get the look of a handmade wreath without the hassle of starting from scratch by purchasing the simplest evergreen option from your local market or nursery and embellishing it with seed pods, ornamental berries, feathers, sprigs, and other foraged finds.

N o . 9 

S AY  C H E E S E

When artfully composed, a cheese plate can double as table décor. The most inviting platters feel abundant, so fill in vacant areas with fresh or dried fruit. The cheeses themselves should look natural and gooey. Break up any pristine wedges by hacking off a few messy chunks and let soft cheese sit at room temperature until properly runny.


Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone is out now, find out more here.