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Outdoor Entertaining with Kathryn Ireland

An outdoor gathering with carefree style makes for a memorable summer evening

Written by Krissa Rossbund
  • Laura Hull

    Menu and recipes start here.

    “If I am going to entertain for four, I may as well entertain for 14,” says Kathryn Ireland, the acclaimed L.A. designer who details her no-fuss lifestyle in Kathryn at Home: A Guide to Simple Entertaining (Gibbs Smith).

    Kathryn arranges pink peonies in pottery from Paris.

    Photography: Laura Hull and Peter Krumhardt

  • Laura Hull

    Entertaining Alfresco

    While she always has fresh linens ready, the designer assembles everything else improv, taking a cue from her own principle to not overcomplicate. For a backyard gathering at her new home, she mixed Parisian vases and dinnerware she developed with a local potter from UCLA to achieve an effortlessly chic presentation.

    Kathryn Ireland’s alfresco gatherings feature a canvas of outdoor furniture that includes Grange’s rattan armchairs from the Café collection, along with side chairs in synthetic fibers on aluminum frames and a reclaimed teak table, all from the Marie Galante collection. The tablecloth is “Bouquet” Irish linen from the designer’s fabric collection.

  • Laura Hull

    Light up the Night

    Kathryn’s casual style means there’s always room for one more at her table. But she never turns down an offer of help. “When someone asks if they can bring something, I say ‘yes,’ ” she says. “I never want an occasion to be chaotic, and as long as everyone offers a hand, it will be successful.”

    “Ruby Rattan” light fixtures from Inner Gardens dangle from a tree, illuminating summer nights.

  • Laura Hull

    Colorful Table

    Christofle’s “Chinon” silverware shows rustic patina. Aqua color pools on ceramic plates with organic edges. Napkins are made of Kathryn’s “Running Stitch” cotton. 

  • Laura Hull

    Vintage Flair

    Antique flower plates were found at a flea market in France.

  • Laura Hull

    Designer Kathryn Ireland captures her breezy entertaining style with a sunny tablescape. To complement the summery setting, we’ve adapted recipes from her new book, Kathryn at Home: A Guide to Simple Entertaining (to be released July 19, 2016). Find her book here.

    Menu

    Pimm’s Cup

    Plum, Chive, Lamb's Lettuce, and Toasted Almond Salad

    Roast Chicken with Lemon, Shallots, and Rosemary

    Braised Carrots with Israeli Couscous and Honey-Rosemary Dressing

    Eton Mess

    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 “brown sugar,” we are calling for light brown sugar. When we call for “flour,” we mean all-purpose unless an alternative is required.

    • Butter (need 3 tablespoons)
    • Extra-virgin olive oil (need 7 tablespoons)
    • Sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Cornstarch (need 1 tablespoon)
    • Sugar
    • Powdered sugar (need 1/2 cup)
    • Honey (need 1 teaspoon)

    Produce

    • 1 bunch fresh mint
    • 1 bunch fresh chive
    • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
    • 1 bunch Italian parsley
    • 1 head garlic
    • 6 large shallots
    • 1 bunch green onions (need 8)
    • 1 large cucumber
    • 14 assorted orange, purple, and/or yellow carrots, with tops
    • 3 ounces lamb’s lettuce (mâche)
    • 2 large oranges
    • 3 to 4 kumquats
    • 4 lemons
    • 6 to 8 ripe plums or nectarines
    • 2 pints fresh mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and/or blueberries)

    Grocery

    • 1 (2-liter) bottle lemonade, ginger ale, or ginger beer
    • 1 (8.5-ounce) bottle 100 percent pure maple syrup
    • 1 (8-ounce) jar red currant jelly (need 1 tablespoon)
    • 1 (8-ounce) jar vegetable bouillon, such as Better Than Bouillon (need 1 heaping tablespoon)
    • 1 (32-ounce) container vegetable stock
    • 2 (8.8-ounce) packages Israeli couscous (need 10 ounces)

    Baking aisle

    • 1 (16-ounce) package roasted salted almonds

    Meat counter

    • 1 (5- to 6-pound) organic or free-range chicken

    Dairy

    • 1 (1/2-pint) container whipping cream
    • 1 (8-ounce) container crème fraîche

    Alcohol

    • 2 (750-milliliter) bottles Pimm’s No. 1
    • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle dry white wine, such as pinot grigio
    • 1 (375-milliliter) bottle Chambord or other fruit liqueur (need 2 tablespoons)
  • Peter Krumhardt

    Pimm's Cup

    The lineage of Pimm’s Cup dates from 1832, when James Pimm offered this “tonic” (a mixture of gin, liqueurs, and herbs) as a digestive at his oyster bar in London. It has since become a classic cocktail to sip on lazy English summer afternoons.

    • 9 cups chilled lemonade, ginger ale, or ginger beer
    • 3 cups Pimm's No. 1
    • 18 sprigs fresh mint
    • Ice cubes
    • 12 cucumber ribbons* or spears
    • 12 orange slices
    • 12 kumquat slices

    In pitcher combine lemonade, Pimm's No. 1, 6 mint sprigs, and ice. Stir with spoon, pressing mint against side of pitcher to release flavor. Serve in tall glasses filled with ice. Add cucumber ribbon or spear to each glass. Garnish glasses with additional mint sprigs and citrus slices. Makes 12 (1-cup) servings.

    *Tip: Use a vegetable peeler to cut lengthwise ribbons from the cucumber.

    Adapted from Kathryn at Home: A Guide to Simple Entertaining

  • Laura Hull

    Plum, Chive, Lamb's Lettuce, and Toasted Almond Salad

    The buttery dressing on this salad is enhanced by a touch of maple syrup and a salty hint of roasted almonds.

    • 6 to 8 ripe plums or nectarines, at room temperature, halved, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
    • 1/2 cup roasted salted almonds, coarsely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 lemon, juiced (3 tablespoons)
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons 100 percent pure maple syrup
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • Sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 ounces lamb's lettuce (mâche) (3 cups)

    In very large bowl combine the fruit, almonds, and chives.

    In small saucepan heat butter and olive oil over low heat until butter is melted. Stir in lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.

    Add half dressing to plum mixture and toss to combine. In separate large bowl, combine lamb's lettuce and remaining dressing.

    To serve, place lamb's lettuce on large platter. Spoon fruit mixture over greens. Makes 6 servings.

    Adapted from Kathryn at Home: A Guide to Simple Entertaining

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Roast Chicken with Lemon, Shallots, and Rosemary

    An organic or free-range chicken generally yields a juicier roasted bird. The flavor is enhanced by a generous amount of lemon and herbs stuffed into the cavity and rubbed over the skin. Red currant jelly gives the gravy richness.

    Roast Chicken:

    • 1 (5- to 6-pound) organic or free-range chicken
    • 2 lemons, cut up
    • 6 large shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise
    • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
    • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
    • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

    Gravy:

    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1/3 cup dry white wine
    • 1 tablespoon red currant jelly
    • 1 teaspoon (heaping) vegetable bouillon (such as Better Than Bouillon)
    • Freshly ground pepper

    For roast chicken, preheat oven to 375°F. Place chicken on rack in large roasting pan. Place 1 cut-up lemon in chicken cavity, Place shallot halves and remaining lemon around chicken in pan. Spread sliced garlic under skin. Generously drizzle olive oil over chicken and shallots. Sprinkle rosemary, parsley and salt over chicken and under the skin. Gently rub herbs into chicken.

    Roast chicken 30 minutes. With large serving spoon, baste chicken with pan juices. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Roast chicken 1 hour and 20 minutes more, basting halfway through. Chicken is done when drumsticks move easily in their sockets and chicken is no longer pink (170°F in the thigh). Before removing chicken from pan, tip chicken slightly so juices run from cavity. Transfer chicken and shallots to cutting board; cover chicken with foil; allow to rest 10 to 15 minutes.

    For gravy, drain cooking juices from roasting pan. Skim off fat. Add enough water to cooking juices if needed to make 1/3 cup. In small bowl stir together the 1/2 cup water and cornstarch; set aside. Remove rack from roasting pan; transfer pan to stovetop. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Add white wine, jelly, bouillon, cooking juices, and cornstarch mixture to pan. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to release any brown bits. Strain, if desired.

    To serve, slice chicken and transfer to serving platter. Top with shallots and pour gravy over top. Makes 6 servings.

    Adapted from Kathryn at Home: A Guide to Simple Entertaining

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Braised Carrots with Israeli Couscous and Honey-Rosemary Dressing

    Serve the carrots and couscous side by side for an enticing accompaniment to the roast chicken. Israeli couscous has larger grains and more “tooth” than the more traditional small-grain variety.

    Carrots:

    • 14 assorted orange, purple, and/or yellow carrots, with tops
    • 8 green onions
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable stock
    • Sprinkle of sugar
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 cups vegetable stock
    • 2 cups Israeli (large pearl) couscous (10 ounces)
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

    Honey-Rosemary Dressing:

    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • Zest of 1 lemon (2 teaspoons)
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary
    • Sea salt
    • Freshly ground pepper

    For carrots and couscous, preheat oven to 375°F. Wash carrots, removing root ends and green leaves but retaining stalk. Halve carrots lengthwise (quarter, if large). Spread carrots on baking sheet. Trim onions by removing root end and green tops. Reserve green tops. Cut white parts of onions lengthwise and scatter between carrots. Cut butter into small pieces; dot vegetables with butter. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon vegetable stock, sugar, and pepper. Bake about 20 minutes or until vegetables are just tender.

    Meanwhile, finely chop green onion tops. In large saucepan bring 3 cups vegetable stock to boil. Add couscous. Reduce heat; cover. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in green onion tops, parsley, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

    For Honey-Rosemary Dressing, in small bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest, honey, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    To serve, transfer carrot-onion mixture to serving platter. Drizzle with dressing; toss. Serve alongside couscous. Makes 6 servings.

    Adapted from Kathryn at Home: A Guide to Simple Entertaining

  • Peter Krumhardt

    Eton Mess

    Eton Mess has been traditionally served at the annual cricket game pitting Eton against the team from Harrow School. While any summer berries can be used, strawberries are de rigueur. The “mess” might refer to either the appearance of the dish or to a large quantity of food. Crushed meringues were added to the recipe in the latter part of the 20th century—just stir them into the whipped cream mixture if you like.

    • 2 pints fresh mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and/or blueberries)
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons Chambord or other fruit liqueur
    • 1 cup whipping cream
    • 1 cup crème fraîche

    In large bowl, mash berries so juices are released but berries are not entirely crushed. Add sugar and Chambord. Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Fold crème fraîche into whipped cream. Add whipped cream mixture to berries; stir until just combined. Cover; refrigerate at least one hour. To serve, spoon chilled Eton Mess into individual serving dishes. Makes 6 servings.

    Adapted from Kathryn at Home: A Guide to Simple Entertaining

  • For Your Bookshelf

    Recipes adapted from Kathryn at Home: A Guide to Simple Entertaining

  • John Granen

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