Rediscover the art of cooking and eating communally with a beautiful, simple collection of meals for friends and family
by Karen Mordechai
With her dinner series Sunday Suppers, Karen Mordechai celebrates the magic of gathering, bringing together friends and strangers to connect over the acts of cooking and sharing meals. For those who yearn to connect around the table, Karen’s simple, seasonally driven recipes, evocative photography, and understated styling form a road map to creating community in their own kitchens and in offbeat locations. This collection of gatherings will inspire a sense of adventure and community for both the novice and experienced cook alike.
Sunday Suppers is full of flavor and inspiration, so this a photo-heavy post! This cookbook is divided into morning, noon, afternoon and evening collections of recipes and then broken into themes such as ‘Take-Along’, ‘Camping’, ‘Sides Party, A Potluck’. Menus are created with four seasons in mind~ spring, late summer, an autumn dinner, and a winter brunch.
I was hoping to have a picnic and pack some take-along recipes but unfortunately the time got away from me between Memorial Day and the weather.
It’s salad weather here with summer-like temperatures and Watermelon Salad with Lemon and Coriander Seed Dressing sounded light and cool with a refreshing combination of watermelon, Asian pear, radish, and cherry tomatoes, served with mixed baby lettuces.
Watermelon Salad with Lemon and Coriander Dressing
1 Asian pear, cubed, tossed in juice of 1/2 lemon
Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Turnips, cubed (I omitted)
Mixed salad greens or baby lettuces
Parsley and Basil
Lemon and Coriander Seed Dressing
This dressing is light, flavorful and perfect for a summer salad! I added everything to a jar to shake together for quick and easy mixing.
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds (I couldn’t find coriander seed so I substituted ground coriander instead)
Juice of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Toast coriander seed in skillet over medium heat until golden. Grind seeds fine and combine with lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to dissolve sugar. Slowly whisk in oil.
Layer salad ingredients in a bowl or platter. Garnish with chopped or whole parsley and basil leaves. I added some flowering purple basil and parsley.
Drizzle salad with dressing and serve immediately.
We enjoyed a couple of recipes that were quick and easy. . .
You can make these in 5 – 10 minutes and refrigerate overnight or 24 hours for best flavor. Larger grapes will take longer to pickle.
I left my peppercorns in the brine rather than removing them. These would be fun to serve with a cheese platter or add to your martini instead of an olive :)
Warm Olives, so simple and so good!
Use a cup of your favorite olives, I bought a mixed assortment from the olive bar at the grocery store. Add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, a sprig of rosemary, 1 – 2 cloves of garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes and lemon zest. Combine all ingredients and heat until oil is simmering, about 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Warm them in the oven or on your cooktop. I used a mini cast iron skillet that served double duty for heating and serving.
“In this collection of stories I hope to bring a bit of joy and inspiration to you– to offer ideas while simultaneously imparting a sense of freedom to break the rules a bit and just do what feels right and beautiful to your eye.” ~Karen Mordechai
Ricotta Crostini with Assorted Toppings!
Toast or grill baguette slices with olive oil until brown (I used a panini press). Rub the toast with a garlic clove and top with ricotta and your choice of topping. I used some of our favorite combinations for these crostini.
Start with a really good ricotta. You can buy some at a specialty food market or use homemade. You can find a recipe for homemade ricotta in Sunday Suppers, which looked surprisingly easy to make.
Balsamic-Roasted Grape Crostini, recipe here. Top with a sprig of thyme and chopped walnuts or pecans.
Peach and Prosciutto Crostini, recipe here. Add a drizzle of honey on top of the ricotta layer, a crack of pepper and some additional basil.
From Sunday Suppers, Shaved Squash and Zucchini topped ricotta crostini. Slice your zucchini and squash thinly with a mandoline, drizzled with olive, lemon zest and a sprinkle of sea salt. I added a sprig for flowering thyme.
Strawberry Bruschetta (or Crostini), a medley of strawberries, grape tomatoes, basil, and nectarine with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Full recipe, here.
Sunday Suppers includes a recipe for Pomegranate and Blackberry Sangria with red wine in the late summer section of the cookbook. Since summertime sipping means rosé wine to me, usually with an ice cube or two :), I exercised my “freedom to break the rules a bit” and “do what feels right and beautiful to your eye” and mixed up a batch of Summer Rosé Sangria!
I used a tried and true recipe for Red, White & Blue Sangria that uses pomegranate juice but substituted rosé for white wine and changed the fruit.
2 – 3 cups fruit, sliced (I used strawberries, oranges, apples, and blackberries)
1 bottle of rosé
1/2 cup Pomegranate juice
1/2 cup vodka, regular or citrus-flavored
16 oz bottle of lemon-lime soda
Slice fruit and add to a large pitcher. Add wine, juice and vodka. Refrigerate until serving, 1 – 2 hours or up to 24. (Berries look & taste best if served within 1 to 2 hours).
Just before serving add chilled lemon-lime soda to pitcher and mix well. Fill glasses half full with ice, add sangria and fruit.
“This book is an extension of our suppers, as it is in its essence a compilation of recipes that one might use to plan gathering for groups both large and small. I hope this book inspires you to set out and make beautiful meals with the people you hold dear.” ~Karen Mordechai