Feast! Recipes for Sharing

“When I invite you over, I mean it. I mean: Sit down. I will take care of you. I will buy the food and get the drinks and set the table and do the cooking, and I will clean up after. And when I come to your house, you will do the same.”

The Grown-Ups Table, Gabrielle Hamilton

image by Lindsey S. Love of  Dolly and Oatmeal  via  Flickr

image by Lindsey S. Love of Dolly and Oatmeal via Flickr

There is nothing like gathering a few friends together to share a meal (even if the meal is as simple as cheese and crackers). Not only is it the perfect reason to splurge on too many glasses of wine, but it's also a wonderful way to create memories that can be remembered through meals to come. After re-visiting New York Times Magazine's The Art of the Dinner Partycoupled with the fact that my local farmers market is brimming with beautiful flowers and produce, I thought now was as good a time as any to highlight some of my favorite best-when-shared staples. Whether you're meeting a friend for a picnic or wondering how to wow at your next supper club, the following recipes will not disappoint.

Rosemary Spiced Mixed Nuts
I am a huge proponent of anything rosemary - that’s what drew me to this mixed nuts recipe in the first place. The fact that they taste like autumn keeps me coming back every time.

Baked White Bean Dip with Rosemary and Parmesan
Another rosemary dish that is sure please! I love this dip because it is relatively healthy and really, really good. I usually forgo the bread crumbs when I make it and indulge in a few more crackers instead (try crostini or a seeded chip to mix it up).

Savor Tomato and Onion Tart
I saw Ilona Oppenheim’s Savor cookbook in Eli’s Market and bought it on the spot. Look at the cover and you’ll see why; look through the pages and, well, what else is there to say? Buy some beautiful tomatoes at your farmers market, splurge on one (or more!) of Ilona’s flour suggestions, and get cooking.

Salted, Seedy Chocolate Bark
When you need a little something sweet after a big meal that doesn’t push you over the edge, I recommend this chocolate bark from Bon Appétit. It's so easy to make - I usually stick to toasted pepitas and flaky sea salt, but know you could endlessly riff off of this simple recipe too.

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If you're looking for more inspiration, head over to Pinterest!

rosemary spiced mixed nuts

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Source: Kitchen Konfidence by Brandon Matzek
serves 6 to 8

1 lb unsalted mixed nuts
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp + 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp flaky sea salt or kosher salt, plus more to taste

Preheat an oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, toss the mixed nuts with the melted butter and maple syrup. Add 2 tablespoons rosemary, dark brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, mixing until the nuts are well coated. Spread the nuts out onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until glazed and golden (about 18 to 20 minutes*), stirring twice during baking.

As soon as the nuts come out of the oven, season with an additional 1 teaspoon rosemary and flaky sea salt to taste. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

*Be sure to check the nuts every few minutes after the 10 minute mark, especially if your oven runs hot.

baked white bean dip

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Source: Pinch My Salt adapted from Not Your Mother's Casseroles by Faith Durand
serves 4 to 10

15-oz can cannellini or Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic, minced
Leaves from fresh 3-inch sprig rosemary, chopped
1 small shallot or 1/4 small red onion, chopped
¼ c whole-milk yogurt
3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for oiling your dish
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ c grated Parmesan Cheese
¼ c dry bread crumbs, optional

Rosemary crostini, seeded chips, pita chips, small rye toasts, or fresh cucumber slices, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 1-quart gratin dish with olive oil. Put the beans into a food processor along with the garlic, rosemary leaves, and shallot. Blend in pulses until well pureed. Add the yogurt, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and the salt and pepper, and blend until creamy. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle evenly over the pureed white beans. (At this point the casserole can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.) Bake, uncovered, for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the dip is hot. Serve immediately.

tomato and onion tart

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Source: Savor: Rustic Recipe Inspired by Forest, Field, and Farm by Ilona Oppenheim
serves 4 to 8

tart dough:
1 cup spelt flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
½ tsp fine sea salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp.
3 tbsp white wine

Combine the flour, rosemary, and salt in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and butter and mix together by hand until the dough has the consistency of wet sand. Add the wine and mix together. If the dough is too dry and does not come together, add a little water (or more wine).

Knead the dough by hand inside the bowl for a few minutes until it comes together as a ball. Refrigerate the dough, covered, for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

rustic tomato tart:
Tart dough
4 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced; or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tbsp flaky sea salt
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
All-purpose flour, for shaping the crust
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs, plus additional thyme sprigs for decoration

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the tomato slices out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle them evenly with the salt and let them drain for 30 minutes. (Best if done simultaneously with the refrigeration of the tart dough.)

Meanwhile, coat a medium pan with the olive oil and saute the onion over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and sweet (about 8-10 minutes). Add the leaves from the two thyme sprigs during the last minute or two of cooking.

On a lightly floured baking sheet, gently pull and stretch the dough into a 13 to 14-inch circle with floured hands. Spread the onions over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange the tomatoes over the onions; there should be no onions visible when all of the tomatoes have been layered on top. Drizzle with olive oil and top with thyme sprigs as desired. Fold the border of the dough over the filling. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

salted, seedy chocolate bark

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Source: Sara Dickerman, Bon Appétit
serves 8

¼ c raw pepitas
2 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
¼ tsp flaky sea salt or kosher salt
8 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cacao)

Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat; add pepitas. Toast, stirring occasionally, until pepitas start to pop, about 1 minute. Pour seeds into a bowl. Toast hemp seeds in the same skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and just starting to turn a pale straw gold, about 45 seconds. Add to bowl with pepitas. Toast sesame seeds in the same skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and just starting to turn golden, about 45 seconds. Add to bowl with other seeds. Add salt; toss to combine.

Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 50% power for 1 minute. Stir; continue cooking in 30-second bursts, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted.

Pour melted chocolate onto a parchment paper–lined baking sheet; smooth out into a thin even layer (it will not cover the entire sheet pan). Evenly sprinkle seed mixture over chocolate. Let stand at room temperature until set, 2 hours or more. Break into 8 pieces (chocolate may be soft, depending on brand used). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes, if desired, before eating.