A Friendly Feast: Girls’ Gathering

Winter presents new opportunities (and settings) to indulge in the niceties of a friendly catch up. Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking is a gal on the same wavelength—she takes the transition from autumn to winter’s as an opportunity to gather friends for dinner. Forget the classic takeaway and film combo; think delectable dishes, tabletops with distinctive flourishes and a hotchpotch of friends—Gaby’s gatherings pull out all the stops. Her top entertaining tips? Stock up on wine, make lamb the main show (it’s easy to make and wows), and make it all Instagram-worthy (it’s what life is all about right!?). Our number one hint: don’t neglect the side dishes. As many a dinner guest will attest, it’s often those supporting acts that make a meal an extravaganza—let’s call it the culinary glue that binds all of the starring-role elements together and lets them shine. With this in mind, Gaby’s shared her top trim recipes, and we can’t wait to tuck in.

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Roasted Acorn Squash

What you’ll need
  • 2 acorn squash, cleaned and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8-10 oz fresh ricotta or burrata
  • Honey to drizzle
  • freshly grated nutmeg
How it’s made
  1. Heat oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.
  2. Drizzle the squash with olive oil and arrange on a large roasting pan.
  3. Roast in pre heated oven for 35-40 min flipping halfway through.
  4. Remove from oven when the squash is fork tender and golden brown.
  5. To serve place a hearty dollop of ricotta or burrata in each of the squash quarters, drizzle with honey and top heavily with freshly grated nutmeg.

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Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

What you’ll need
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 8 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk, more if needed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons Mascarpone cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Freshly chopped chives
How it’s made
  1. Peel and dice potatoes, making sure all are about 1-inch cubes. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a rolling boil. Cook until potatoes are fork tender.
  2. Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain off water. Press the diced potatoes through a ricer and then place back into the warm pot. Add the cream, butter, Parmesan, mascarpone and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper and fold in the chopped chives.

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More entertaining recipes, from brunch with added flair to cocktails to shake up the standard, right this way