All Hail, Queen Ina

Yesterday, I had a few friends over for a casual dinner and a couple glasses (bottles?) of wine. My go-to for easy, reliable, “guest-worthy” recipes? Anything by Ina Garten, cookbook queen and author of the Barefoot Contessa series. Her recipes are elegant (yes, I still want my dinner guests—even close friends—to think I’m fancy), yet homey and hearty. They’re crowd-pleasers.

So I made Ms. Garten’s spring green risotto with leeks, fennel, green peas, and asparagus. It was the perfect dish for a summertime dinner party—rich enough to feel like a “special occasion” (thanks, mascarpone!), yet fresh enough to feel appropriate in the hotter months. Check out the Barefoot Contessa website for the full recipe.

I also served a light arugula salad with chopped homemade pickles (more on those later), warm farm-to-market bread, and more wine.


11 Responses

  1. Amber Buckman

    I totally agree about the ease and deliciousness of Ina Garten’s recipes.
    I don’t know what I enjoy most about your blog the recipes or the beautiful composition of your pictures! You are amazing!

  2. The Standard

    Love your post!
    I know you come from a long line of great cooks. Such great times are had (and will be had!) around a table with creative food, wine, friends and family!

  3. Elizabeth

    This dinner sounds amazing. I only wish I could have sat at the table with your party to enjoy one of Queen Ina’s delicious dishes. Curious about those pickles!!

  4. Marsha Voran


    I love that Barefoot Contessa recipe. You’ve inspired me to invite some girlfriends over for a summer dinner!

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