DINNER PARTY INSPIRATION

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A few weeks ago, I spent the day cooking, eating, and hanging out with the lovely ladies behind The Little Market and LaurenConrad.com, creating a beautiful and delicious spread to inspire your next dinner party. The tablescape was comprised of blue and white ceramics and wood serving pieces from The Little Market and blooms by the talented, Bloom Babes. The recipes below are both simple and delectable, allowing you to actually enjoy your next party.

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menu

beet and avocado salad with feta, red onion, and arugula

slow roasted halibut with cherry tomatoes and shallots

oven roasted cauliflower with rosemary thyme vinaigrette

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Slow Roasted Halibut with Cherry Tomatoes and Shallots

Serves 4-6

3 5-ounce pieces of halibut, rinsed with water, dried, and seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper

2 pints of cherry tomatoes, stems removed and halved

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 shallots, skin removed and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon of chives

1 handful of small basil leaves

extra virgin olive oil

white balsamic vinegar

sea salt

black pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

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On the stovetop, heat a cast iron skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat. Add the cut tomatoes, shallots, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook until the tomatoes start to soften and juice is released, about 5 minutes. Add a splash of white balsamic vinegar. Taste. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Remove skillet from the heat. Gently place the pieces of halibut on top of the tomato mixture and put into the oven. 

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Cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and let fish rest for a couple of minutes. 

Toss some fresh basil leaves into the pan and top with chives.

Serve immediately.

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Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Rosemary Thyme Vinaigrette

Serves 4-6

2 heads of cauliflower, florets removed

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, leaves only

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt

black pepper

rosemary thyme vinaigrette (recipe to follow)

Rosemary Thyme Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, Leaves Removed And Minced
  • 1 sprig Fresh Rosemary, Leaves Removed And Minced
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Preheat over to 425.

To make the dressing, add 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, herbs, and salt and pepper into a mason jar (or container of choice). Shake until emulsified. Set aside.

Toss cauliflower florets in a large bowl with some olive oil to coat, salt, and pepper. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and cook until they start to crisp up and brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the parsley leaves and drizzle with the rosemary thyme vinaigrette to coat. Taste. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Eat warm or at room temperature.

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Beet and Avocado Salad with Feta, Red Onion, and Arugula

Serves 4 – 6

6 small beets, washed and stems removed

1 large avocado

1/2 cup feta, crumbled

2 handfuls of arugula

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced on a mandolin and soaked in water

Champagne Vinaigrette

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil olive oil

3 tablespoons champagne vinegar 

2 teaspoons honey

1/2 lemon, juiced

sea salt

black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 3 beets on a large piece of foil and pull up the sides slightly, creating a kind of pouch shape. Drizzle the beets with olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Close the top of the pouch all around so that the beets will steam. Repeat process with the other beets. Place pouches in the oven and cook for 60 minutes or until the beets are tender. Once cool enough to touch, gently remove the skin and cut into wedges. Set aside. 

To make the vinaigrette, place olive oil, vinegar, honey, and lemon juice in a jar and shake until combined.

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For assembling, grab your serving bowl. Lay out a few beet wedges, then avocado slices, some crumbled feta, a few onions, and a sprinkle of arugula. Drizzle with a little vinaigrette, a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. Repeat until all ingredients have been used up. Serve immediately.

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All photos by Jacob Taylor.

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