I have long believed that when it comes to entertaining, most people can roughly be broken down into two groups. There are potluck people and dinner party people. My friend Cindy is most decidedly a dinner party person. She likes to control the menu and create an experience for her friends. I am more of a potluck person. I love the uncertainty of inviting people to bring with them whatever they’re moved to make.
I have definite opinions of what makes a good potluck dish (ideally something that can be served at room temperature and can be eaten from a plate with a fork). I’m forever curious about the recipes that other people prefer for potlucks and so make a point of checking out new potluck cookbooks whenever one is published.
The latest book on the topic to come to market is Ali Rosen’s Bring It! Ali is the force behind Potluck Video, a video series that you can find online and on NYC Life on Thursday nights.
This book is broken up into seven chapters. It opens with an introductory section that offers tips on How to Bring It. From there, it moves into Hors d’Oeuvres and Dips, Salads, Casseroles/Pastas/Tarts, Meats and Fish, Veggies and Grains, and Desserts.
There’s plenty of appealing food in this book (though I find the photography style a little unsettling. The lighting feels excessively artificial). In addition to the dishes pictured throughout this post, I’ve marked the Grits Casserole (page 106), the Cherry Tomato Tart (page 117), and the Farro with Charred Vegetables (page 188) as things I hope to make.
If you’re someone who attends regular potlucks and needs new inspiration, this book will certainly be of use!
Here’s a quickie:
Pesto Deviled Eggs.
Fill the hard boiled egg halves with a mix of hard boiled yolk, mayo and pesto. Mix to taste and consistency. Use your home made pesto or use your favorite store bought. But pesto is so easy to make.
Very tasty if you’re doing a Seuss “Green eggs and Ham” theme.