Our 5 Favorite Sharing Menus This Summer

Low on effort yet big on effect, this New England tradition of shellfish, clams and mussels, along with new potatoes, Portuguese sausage, and cobs of corn are the ultimate summer share menu. A couple of hours – and red stripes later – your meal is ready, and you barely had to touch it while it cooked.

Gather guests at a long picnic table covered with a gingham tablecloth and dotted with big white platters, let the seafood feast tumble out and dig in! Fingers will get messy, but fun will be had.

Bon Appetit’s blog sparked our imagination on this one.  How beautiful and lovely and. EASY are make-your-own-sandwiches from a spread of smoked salmon and whitefish, dilled cucumber salad, and brown bread with sweet butter!? Add a smattering of sausages and cold cuts with horseradish spiked crème frâiche, and wash it down with the mild sting of icy shots of aquavit. (Try North Shore Distillery’s version!)

“family of choice”

Roman Thanksgiving
Inspired by true events
(Wendy’s daughter, Remy, studied in Italy,) a Roman Thanksgiving is best celebrated with your own “family of choice” made up of ex-pats, friends, strangers, and often actual family.  Stuff the group into a tiny apartment and begin to pass big bowls of string beans spiked with hot chilies, Bucatini Amatriciana, and roasted fennel coated in rich olive oil with a grand centerpiece of roasted Turkey. You and your guests eat like, well, Romans.

image courtesy of www.thekitchn.com

Polenta Board
There are few sharing menus that are as visually exciting as a polenta board.  All you need is a long or round wooden board, placed in the center of a table, (you can make one yourself!)  and a chef who lovingly pours rich, creamy polenta directly on it. Top different sections of the polenta with lamb ragu, sautéed kale with garlic, or roasted tomatoes.  Punctuate the table with bowls of olives and plates of cured meats, give everyone a large spoon to reach into the center and serve themselves.  Delizioso!

Wine and Cheese
Scatter big platters of cheese, figs, pickled apricots, roasted nuts, and olives around thetable.  Compliment them with big bowls of bright salads – shaved fennel and lemon, arugula and balsamic, roasted asparagus and red pepper, and make a meal of it with a generous amount of wine, candles, and laughter.