The Novel Bakers Present Sunday Suppers: Recipes + Gatherings
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
Visit my fellow Novel Bakers for Sunday Suppers:
Thank you for your visit, also sharing with:
Mary, I’m delighted to join you for a gorgeous Sunday Supper. Your beautiful, inimitable touches abound, starting with the way you framed the book with produce (and produce has never looked this divine in the history of produce!) to the lip smacking sangria. Weren’t the recipes wonderful? I’ll admit, I was horrified by the idea of adding raw turnips to the watermelon salad (especially since my melon was so anemic and bland), but I did it. I was surprised how the flavors came together. Love your crostini–they look like little jewel boxes, so vibrant and alluring. I’m going to try them for sure. I meant to make the olives (and the fried green tomatoes–they turned red on me), but we had the same, damp weather. I waited till today to take pictures of the book, but rain drove me indoors. I’m hoping we can do more Sunday suppers. The book is a gem. And I dearly loved suppin’ with you, my dear. It’s always a joy to see your work and to play with you. Happy Sunday!
The strawberry/peach crostini looks amazing and I’m always a sucker for olives! Sounds like you found a fun book Mary-enjoy:@)
Love it Mary!❤️❤️
All looks so delicious ! I love crostini and the ricotta with fruit sounds tasty. Yum! Enjoy your Sunday!🌞🌴
WOW!!! Everything looks fabulous. I particularly love the olives..❤️ Before we had specialty stores in our area, we would make regular visits to relatives in Chicago where we could go to a wonderful Italian Market so mom could buy “good” olive oil and fresh ricotta..we always bought double the ricotta because we usually ate the first batch before we even got home.. Fresh baked Italian bread with fresh ricotta spread on it and a touch of honey..yum!!! We didn’t know what cottage cheese was when it came to lasagna..thanks for reminding me how good fresh ricotta is! ❤️😍😍😍
An incredible feast for the eyes and definitely food for the soul, Mary~your recipe choices are a rainbow of colors and flavors. Your crostini just about leaps off the page and begs to be tasted and my mouth is watering for your Summer Rosé Sangria~ The book sounds charming and delightful, a reminder of how important meal times and the celebration of food with friends and family can be~ Another wonderful adventure with the Novel Bakers!
As always your photographs capture the subject superbly. The food styling is begging one to reach in and taste it, if only that were possible. Thank you for sharing your God given creativity with so many.
what a gorgeous cover shot! it is as opulent and tasty as the recipes we devoured. it always strikes me our similarities when we have an entire book to draw from and we all can settle in on a few key recipes. i found the salad such a queer mixture of tastes, watermelon and tomatoes threw me, but it worked! your shots are just mouth watering, i adore drizzle shots too :-)
did you love those grapes! what a wild taste combo, i ended up sharing mine at book club too, there were such an oddities! you are very lady like with your spears, i was jam my fingers in and drinking them down!
your olives are perfection, the only reason i didn’t make them is i was to tired to walk 50 stairs down hill to my rosemary hedge… the down was easy, it was the thought of returning! adore your shots!
now we are taking with crostini heaven! i could live on it, i adore all the tidbits magically melting in my mouth! i was thrilled to make my own ricotta too, once i learned the real chemistry behind cheesemaking… what i enjoyed most about homemade ricotta was the taste of my own lemons, i think commercial cheese is made with vinegar and i could taste the softness of lemon as an added bonus, perfect for all your additions! as i scroll each bite is making me wither inside for a bite!
another gorgeous sangria.., AND TOWEL! love it, isn’t it amazing what a good cloth can do for our spirits! especially while downing spirits ;-) the beaded pitcher screams summertime heat and fun, a far distant memory for me as i look out a wet window and see all of 50′ out on another gray foggy day by the sea…
thanks so much for playing, as always, you are a dazzler!
I sure wish you’d quit hitting my pocketbook! If it’s not dishes, it’s lots and lots of food…and now I must go buy that cookbook!!!! Oh my…you are the perfect marketing tool! Thanks for giving us such beautiful imagery with our morning coffee!
Beautiful beautiful post!!! Inspiring….makes me think outside the box.
You just make food look beautiful, Mary! The cookbook sounds inspirational, and you chose some tasty dishes to prepare…full of vibrant color and flavors. Those warm olives are something I’d love to try and the crostini are like perfect little meals with carbs, protein and a little fat. Now I’m ready to sip some sangria. Cheers!!
p.s. I love the tea towel that’s under the sangria pitcher!
You are amazing! I loved the idea of Rose wine and pomegranate juice. Oh my!
Oh, what a glorious array of foods….Sunday Suppers and gatherings will never be the same…
Definitely will try the pickled grapes and the olive dish!
Everything, every single thing featured in your photos looks absolutely delicious!
You’re making me hungry, Mary! Thanks for introducing me to a fantastic book! You had me at the ocean scene.:)
I’m writing a list for the food to get to make the recipes you featured! Thanks for having such great taste, Mary.
You are amazing as ever, you could make a hotdog look delicious!!
How much time and planning do you put into each post?? You must be super organized and use time wisely!
Thank You for sharing all you do!!
Honestly, everything here looks delicious as well as beautiful.
I often neglect to comment but your posts are spectacular! When is your book coming out?
Mary, I’m going to echo all the comments above. Wow! From the first shot to the last, you gave us a feast. I applaud you not only for your incredible skills with styling and photography, but your talent in the kitchen. Just the sheer amount here boggles my mind. Wow, again! Thanks to the Novel Bakers for sharing Sunday Suppers.
I have said this before…your posts/blog belong in a book format…every image is perfection…I really have wonderful memories of our Sunday Suppers with my parents as a child and also as a married adult….All of my siblings with their families too would gather together every Sunday for dinner….those were very special times…Funny how just a dinner can evoke such warm memories that lasts a lifetime. I miss them!!
We were away for the weekend so I am just seeing this! I should NEVER look at your posts when I am hungry! The crostinis look fabulous and I want some of that sangria! I will wait til later in the day:) Thank you for sharing all this. Your pictures are perfection and should be in a book!!!!
It all looks so wonderful and yummy!
Mary, I am just getting around to enjoying your incredible post on this book, and I must say that your photos have made the book so much more enticing than the gray shots they used in it! I also made the watermelon salad with your exact changes~~ground coriander and no turnips, as they are so hard! When I serve turnips I boil them for about 40 minutes and I could not imagine crunching one raw. Your crostini variations are amazing and using the panini press is such a great hint. I must revisit this book with your beautiful images in mind. Looking forward to your next NB posts! :) Linda
My husband and I love the marinated olives from the olive bar at our local store and I dress them up with rosemary and feta cheese and lemon zest. From the oil speciality store I use their balsamic flavored oils for a different take. I’ve never tried them heated but what a grt idea. Love the presentation with the skillet. You need to do a book.