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Book Brief: Williams-Sonoma Outdoor Entertaining

Book Brief: Williams-Sonoma Outdoor Entertaining
There's something about dining outdoors that makes any meal feel like a celebration. The combination of good food and fresh air works a special magic, inspiring an easygoing atmosphere and lighthearted conversation. With Williams-Sonoma Outdoor Entertaining as your guide, you'll discover that hosting outdoor gatherings is simple, fun and refreshingly stress-free.

The key to successful outdoor entertaining is to choose food that is easy to prepare and serve and simple for guests to eat. This book features more than 40 enticing recipes, organized into seven complete menus, that are designed especially for alfresco dining. Most dishes can be made largely in advance, requiring only a few finishing touches before serving. Many can be enjoyed either cold or at room temperature, so they'll hold up well in a picnic basket or on a buffet. You'll also find a wealth of organizing, decorating and serving tips plus work plans to keep you on schedule.

Celebrate the flavors of Italy at a family-style dinner featuring roasted pork tenderloins enlivened with aromatic herbs, pancetta and fried capers. Accompaniments include a classic caprese salad with vine-ripened tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil, plus an intriguing tuna and farro salad. To conclude the meal, offer cooling cappuccino granita.

For a sophisticated beachside picnic, offer your guests luxurious crab-and-shrimp cocktails along with a chopped salad of seasonal vegetables and manchego cheese. A fresh strawberry-rhubarb compote, paired with crisp brown sugar cookies, is the perfect dessert. For festive entertaining in your own backyard, delight kids and adults alike with a family reunion barbecue starring grilled tomatillo chicken fajitas and a do-it-yourself ice cream sundae bar.

Make the most of a sunny morning with an elegant garden brunch. Colorful parfaits of fresh fruit, yogurt and granola are a delicious prelude to breakfast bruschetta topped with creamy scrambled eggs, heirloom tomatoes and pancetta. A lemon pound cake provides a sweet ending to the gathering. For a stylish evening soiree, host a poolside cocktail party. Key lime vodka freezes and nonalcoholic ginger coolers accompany a medley of easy-to-make hors d'oeuvres—from spicy curried chicken and mango tartlets to skewers of sizzling beef.

Whether you prepare these menus in their entirety or mix and match the dishes as you please, this beautifully photographed volume makes it easy to savor the pleasures of open-air dining with family and friends.