Food with Friends is such a gorgeous book and a great cookbook for entertaining. Broken into six major sections–breakfast and brunch, tea time, happy hour, potlucks and picnics, desserts, and tiny takeaways–you’ll find many ways to cook for two, small gatherings, and big groups.
Breakfast is one meal we rarely skip so I picked a few recipes from that chapter. We loved the different steel cut oats with toppings especially the tropics (coconut, pineapple, and passion fruit) and the cozy (apples, cranberries, almonds, and cinnamon). Similar to other porridge recipes, Leela’s recipes were easy and quick to put together. The strawberry and balsamic lassi was really different but in a good way. I’m used to balsamic strawberry ice cream so the flavor profile wasn’t entirely new to me but I would probably use less cardamom and eliminate the pepper next ime. The lemon-poppy seed Dutch baby was a hit and it rose nicely in the oven, unlike many of the Dutch baby recipes that I’ve tried. Unfortunately, the lemon and lavender French toast was a flop because the lavender flavor was overpowering and we didn’t particularly enjoy something that reminded us of soap. The breakfast section had a great selection of recipes and I’m looking forward to trying the chocolate orange challah and roasted plum with burrata when stone fruits are in season.
Other recipes that are memorable are the beet pickled eggs featured on the front cover. We made this for our friends and they were mesmerized by the color and wanted to know how to make them. This recipe is a keeper for the next Easter brunch we have. My favorite recipe so far would be the the blueberry galette with oat crust which had an amazing texture. This recipe would taste amazing with seasonal fruits–stone fruits in the summer, apples and figs in the fall, and even cranberries in the winter.
Besides the delicious and creative recipes, Leela also included a lot of helpful tidbits on how to create an inviting table, where to source for housewares, stocking the pantry, and sending guests off with delicious parting gifts. My only complaint is this book has too many sweet recipes and not enough savory. The photography is absolutely gorgeous and vibrant, truly reflective of her work. I really enjoyed cooking from Food with Friends and can’t wait to try more of Leela’s recipes.
*I received this book to review complementary of the publisher