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Eastern-Influenced Garden Luncheon

Set the table for the season with Eastern garden inspiration 

Written by Emily Benda
  • Peter Krumhardt

    Recipes start here

    Say hello to a new entertaining season! Chinoiserie-​inspired details on the table and a menu fresh as a spring day team up to create a polished lunch that kindly ushers away winter. Spiced with an upbeat palette that fuses lively apple green, coral, and ivory, it sparks hopeful anticipation—like a newly budding garden—for beautiful moments to come. 

    White ceramic candlesticks and a green glass vase with coral roses form a simple yet elegant centerpiece; Godinger’s “Rondo” highball glasses are from the Novo collection. 

    Photography: Peter Krumhardt
    Produced by Krissa Rossbund

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Patterned Linens

    Linens take the lead with light, fresh layers—a floral linen tablecloth, giraffe-print and geometric-embroidered napkins, all in coral and ivory.

    Kim Seybert’s “Patina” white linen napkins embroidered with contemporary blush geometrics pair with napkins made of Fabricut’s “Capetown.” 

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    Cocktail Flair

    Kim Seybert’s “Indochine” cocktail napkins embroidered with classic chinoiserie motifs brighten the bar setting. 

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    Have a Seat

    Guests can take a seat in Frontgate’s “Langston” Louis-style armchairs and side chairs upholstered in pale gray with nailhead trim. 

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    Set for Spring

    Chargers boast the same bamboo look as the classic flatware, but, in a fun twist, they’re made of metal. Bone china dinner and salad plates share organic scalloped edges. While the dinner plate is classic white, the salad plate bursts with tiny flowers and seasonal colors of coral and green. Filigree-style salt and pepper shakers in an antiqued gold finish serve both functional and decorative purposes as they are passed around the table. 

    Kim Seybert’s “Indochine” charger rendered in metal and Juliska’s bamboo flatware. DeVine Corporation’s “Carlton” dinner and “Cherry Blossom salad plates with scalloped edges by Royal Crown Derby. Linen tablecloth made of Vervain’s “Nova Pachora.” 

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    Bamboo Flatware

    A menu filled with spring ingredients completes the setting. Roast chicken sprinkled with herbs de Provence nestles in a medley of wild rice, peas, asparagus, baby carrots, and spring garlic. For dessert, strawberries and fresh goat cheese top airy crêpes.

    Juliska flatware juxtaposes bamboo and stainless steel. 

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    Colorful Accents

    A white lacquer tray enhances the luxurious Asian mood and presents World Market’s “Moroccan” double old-fashioned glasses with gold detail in green and bronze. 

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    Fancy and Functional

    The handcrafted L’Objet Gold “Spice Jewels” salt and pepper set complements the scalloped gold edges of the dinner and salad plates. 

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    Twinkle Lights

    Green glass tea lights scattered across the table create a warm ambience. 

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    Menu & Shopping List

    The change of season brings not just a fresh palette to the table but also a slew of fresh ingredients to the luncheon menu. Baby carrots, new peas, and tiny asparagus spears burst with color and spice. Spring greens show off their refined flavor. Look for baby vegetables and berries, fresh goat cheese, baby lettuces, and spring chickens. Recipes by chef Mary Payne Moran from Hail Mary, Food of Grace.

    Menu

    Lavender Gin Rickey

    Watercress, Mâche, and Fava Bean Salad; Creamy Lemon Dressing

    Roast Chicken

    Wild Rice and Spring Vegetable Medley

    Strawberry and Spring Goat Cheese Crêpes

     

    Shopping List

    We’ve organized a shopping list to make shopping for this party menu easier for you. Package sizes are included so you have enough for duplicated recipe ingredients.

    Check your pantry for these necessary items before shopping.

    Note: Unless specified, when we call for “butter” we mean the unsalted variety. When we call for “olive oil” we are suggesting good-quality extra virgin. When we call for “eggs” we are suggesting large eggs. Unless specified, when we call for “milk” we mean whole-fat milk. For cocktail ingredients, the shopping list provides enough to prepare eight cocktails.

    • Granulated sugar (need scant 1 cup total)
    • All-purpose flour (need 1 cup)
    • Salt
    • Kosher salt (need 2-1/4 teaspoons + 1 tablespoon)
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Paprika (need 2 teaspoons; purchase new jar if spice has been in cabinet longer than 6 months)
    • Mayonnaise (need 1 tablespoon)
    • Olive oil (need about 1-1/2 cups)
    • Milk (need 1-1/4 cups total)
    • Butter (need 4 tablespoons)
    • Eggs (need 2)

    Specialty grocery store

    • Edible French or English lavender (see note on recipe) (need 1 bunch of 12 sprigs) or dried lavender
    • Herbes de Provence
    • 4 Meyer lemons (regular lemons may be substituted) (3 for salad, 1 for dressing)
    • Pitted Niçoise olives for garnish (from olive bar)

    Produce

    • 5 lemons (need at least 2 for cocktail garnish and juice, about 3 for chicken)
    • 4 oranges
    • 2 onions
    • 1 bunch spring garlic or green onion
    • Mâche (need about 16 ounces for 6 cups)
    • Watercress or baby arugula (need about 8 ounces for 3 cups)
    • 1 bunch fresh parsley
    • 1 bunch fresh mint
    • 5 pounds fresh fava bean pods (for 2 cups cooked, peeled beans)
    • 1 to 2 bunches baby carrots with tops (need 16 carrots total)
    • 2 bunches fresh asparagus
    • 12 ounces fresh peas or 1 (12-ounce) package frozen peas
    • 1 16 ounce carton fresh strawberries

    Grocery

    • 1 (1-liter) bottle club soda
    • 1 (1-pound) bag wild rice
    • 1 (8-ounce) bag dry roasted pistachio nuts

    Baking aisle

    • 1 (12-ounce) bag confectioner’s sugar (need 3/4 cup total)
    • 1 (4-ounce) package sliced almonds

    Frozen food aisle

    • 1 (12-ounce) package frozen peas if not purchasing fresh

    Butcher

    • 2 (3-1/2- to 4-pound) whole chickens

    Dairy

    • Whipping cream (need 1/4 cup)
    • 1 (7-ounce) container crème fraîche

    Cheese aisle

    • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
    • 4 ounces goat cheese (chèvre)

    Alcohol

    • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle good-quality gin
    • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle dry white wine
  • Peter Krumhardt

    Lavender Gin Rickey

    Hail the return of the classic gin rickey, a breezy concoction of gin, lemon or lime juice, and soda water. It’s been a cocktail bar standard since the 1880s, but this version has an aromatic dash of lavender simple syrup for a springtime accent. 

    Prep: 5 minutes

    Stand: 15 minutes

    Lavender Simple Syrup:

    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh edible French or English lavender* or 1 tablespoon dried lavender

    Lavender Gin Rickey:

    • 1-1/2 ounces gin
    • 3/4 ounce Lavender Simple Syrup
    • Fresh-squeezed lemon juice to taste
    • Ice cubes
    • 3 ounces club soda

    Garnish (see Note):

    • 1 sprig fresh edible lavender
    • 1 (3-inch) lemon curl

    For Lavender Simple Syrup, in small saucepan combine sugar and water. Bring to boil; stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Add lavender. Steep 15 minutes; strain to remove lavender. Makes 1 cup; see Tip.

    For Lavender Gin Rickey, in cocktail shaker combine gin, Lavender Simple Syrup, and lemon juice. Add ice cubes; cover. Shake until very cold. Strain liquid into ice-filled rocks glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with lavender and lemon peel; see Note. Makes 1 serving.

    *Not all lavender buds/flowers are edible. Make sure you purchase a culinary variety, such as English lavender, especially if you are growing your own crop. (Potted lavender is a lovely addition to the deck or patio.) Check with a reputable garden center, or purchase edible lavender buds from a specialty grocery store.

    Note: To make cocktail garnish, using a small paring knife or the largest hole (about 1/8 inch) of a lemon zester, cut a 3-inch peel from lemon, taking care to not remove bitter white pith. Trim edges to uniform cut, if desired. Curl peel around a chopstick or straw. Wrap tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight. To serve, unwrap lemon curl and slide over lavender sprig.

    Tip: Lavender Simple Syrup may be made one day ahead and stored in the refrigerator until needed.

    Recipe by Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Watercress, Mâche, and Fava Bean Salad; Creamy Lemon Dressing

    Tender spring greens take the starring role in this bright salad. Mâche, with its tangy-nutty flavor, pairs with peppery watercress. Toss in delicate new fava beans, the puckery citrus of fresh Meyer lemons, and a sprinkle of feta cheese for a lively first course. 

    Start to Finish: 30 minutes

    Watercress, Mâche, and Fava Bean Salad:

    • 6 cups mâche or other baby greens
    • 3 cups watercress or baby arugula
    • 4 oranges, peeled, seeded, and sectioned
    • 3 Meyer lemons, peeled, seeded, and sectioned
    • 2 cups cooked, peeled fava beans
    • 1 recipe Creamy Lemon Dressing (see recipe below)
    • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Pitted, halved Niçoise olives (optional)

    Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing:

    • 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

    For Watercress, Mâche, and Fava Bean Salad, in large mixing bowl combine all greens, orange and lemon sections, fava beans, and enough dressing to moisten. Top salad with feta, pepper, and olives, if desired. Pass any remaining dressing. Makes 8 servings.

    Creamy Lemon Salad Dressing In small bowl whisk together lemon juice and mayonnaise. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly. Season dressing with sugar and salt.

    Note: To section citrus, using a serrated knife, remove the peel. Holding the fruit over a bowl to catch the juice, cut between one section and the membrane, slicing to the fruit’s center. Turn the knife and slide it up the other side of the section alongside the membrane. Place the section in a second bowl. Repeat with the remaining sections.

    Recipe by Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Roast Chicken with Wild Rice and Spring Vegetable Medley

    One of the benefits of this recipe is everyone (in theory) can enjoy their favorite part of the chicken. Ask your butcher to halve the whole chickens for you. 

    Serve roast chicken on a “Classic Bamboo” platter from Juliska. 

    Prep: 20 minutes
    Marinate: 3 hours
    Roast: 50 minutes
    Stand: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

    • 2 (3-1/2- to 4-pound) whole chickens
    • 1-1/2 cups dry white wine
    • 1-1/2 cups water
    • 3/4 cup lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 2 onions, cut into 6 wedges each
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
    • 1 recipe Wild Rice and Spring Vegetable Medley

    Place one chicken, breast side down, on cutting board. Using kitchen shears, starting from tail end, snip through chicken on either side of backbone. Discard backbone. Turn chicken over. Snip through center of breast. Repeat with remaining chicken.

    Place large resealable plastic bag in shallow dish. In 8-cup measuring cup, combine wine, water, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup olive oil. Place halved chickens, onions, and marinade in bag; seal bag. Marinate chickens in refrigerator 3 hours.

    Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Pat chickens dry with paper towels.

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange chickens, skin side up, on two 15x10-inch roasting pans. Add onions to roasting pan. Brush chicken with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, paprika, and herbes de Provence. Rub into skin with your hands.

    Roast 50 minutes or until chicken is done (at least 170°F in thigh) and drumsticks move easily in sockets, basting with pan juices once during roasting. Remove from oven. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into quarters for serving. Serve with Wild Rice and Spring Vegetable Medley. Makes 8 servings.

    Wild Rice and Spring Vegetable Medley

    There’s an abundance of spring vegetables in this side dish: baby carrots, asparagus, peas, spring garlic, and fresh parsley. Spring garlic looks like a twin to green onion, with a small bulb root end and long, dark green top leaves. Its garlic flavor is delicate enough that it can be used as a vegetable rather than a seasoning.

    Prep: 15 minutes
    Cook: 50 minutes (rice) and 10 minutes (vegetables)
    Stand: 10 minutes

    • 3-1/2 cups water
    • 2 cups wild rice
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 16 baby carrots with tops, trimmed (halve lengthwise if large)
    • 2 cups bias-sliced asparagus
    • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas
    • 3 cloves spring garlic or green onions, sliced
    • 1/3 cup dry-roasted pistachio nuts, chopped
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    • Additional salt for seasoning

    In large saucepan combine water, wild rice, 2 tablespoons butter, and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover; simmer 50 minutes or until rice is tender. Let stand 10 minutes.

    In 12-inch skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots. Cook and stir 6 to 7 minutes or until tender and edges caramelize. Season with additional salt. Add asparagus, peas, and garlic; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

    Fold in cooked wild rice, pistachios, and parsley. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season to taste with salt. Makes 8 servings.

    Recipe by Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Strawberry and Spring Goat Cheese Crêpes

    Homemade crêpes are simple to make ahead and provide a gracious base for deep red sweet baby strawberries and farm-fresh goat cheese lightened with crème fraîche. 

    Baby spring strawberries (sometimes known as “fraises”) are intensely sweet and red all the way to the core. For the freshest goat cheese, take a trip to a local cheese shop. Mother goats are dining on sweet, fresh grass this time of year, infusing newly produced goat cheese with fragrant, grassy flavor.

    Prep: 30 minutes
    Cook: 45 minutes

    Crêpes:

    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/4 cup whipping cream
    • 1 tablespoon sugar

    Goat Cheese Cream:

    • 1 cup crème fraîche
    • 1/2 cup soft goat cheese (chèvre)
    • 1/4 cup milk 
    • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

    Assembly:

    • 8 to 10 strawberries, halved
    • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
    • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
    • 8 mint leaves

    For Crêpes, add all ingredients to blender. Cover; blend on high 1 to 2 minutes or until very smooth. Heat lightly greased nonstick large skillet over medium-high heat; remove from heat. Spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons batter into skillet; lift and tilt skillet to spread batter evenly to make 6-inch crêpe. Return to heat; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until browned on one side. Invert over paper towels; remove crêpe. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet occasionally. If crêpes are browning too quickly, reduce heat to medium. Stack with parchment paper between crêpes.

    For Goat Cheese Cream, combine all ingredients in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Cover; refrigerate until needed.

    To serve, fold each crêpe in quarters. Top crêpes with goat cheese cream, strawberries, toasted almonds, and confectioner’s sugar. Garnish with mint leaf. Makes 8 servings.

    Tip: Place any extra crêpes in airtight container with parchment paper between crêpes. Label; freeze up to 3 months.

    Recipe by Chef Mary Payne Moran

  • Peter Krumhardt
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