Pottery Barn collaborator Monique Lhuillier is the consummate hostess. Spring for Monique means throwing the doors open, fresh flowers throughout her home and of course entertaining outdoors! This sense of bringing the outdoors inside is evident in her new bedding and tabletop collection with Pottery Barn. Based on a floral design from her pret-a-porter fashion collection, the new Monique Lhuillier for Pottery Barn collection is a reflection of the vibrancy that we all love about the Spring season; the lightness after months bundled under heavy layers and the appearance of color, especially green which instantly reminds us of the abundance just around the corner. It’s the same mentality that inspired our Spring Botanical Dinner Party with Monique – a welcome shift from the heaviness of winter to the lightness of Spring in all its inviting glory. It’s a dinner that celebrates the first tender shoots emerging from the garden whether it be in its garden floral centerpieces, table decor and of course the menu.
The menu for the party is a delicious celebration of Spring bounty but paired with some time saving techniques guaranteed to leave you time to sip a cocktail and enjoy your guests stress free! Taking the term “spring botanical” to heart, the menu is heavily focused on vegetarian-friendly dishes that put the first harvests of the season front and center. Check out our full menu below as well as two recipes ready to take center stage at your next dinner party…
Spring Botanical Dinner Party Menu
Curried Coconut and Cauliflower Soup
Serves 4 to 6
Upon first glance, the mix of flavors of the Curried Coconut and Cauliflower, may seem like a bold combo, but the coconut milk lends both a sweetness and creaminess to this mild soup. If you garnish the soup of additional thick coconut milk or coconut creme instead of the creme fraiche, the soup is perfect for any guests who are vegan.
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
1 cauliflower, trimmed and broken into florets
2 cups water
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
creme fraiche or coconut creme for garnish (optional)
microgreens or edible flower petals for garnish (optional
1) Heat coconut oil in heavy, large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Add onion, cover and cook until onion is tender and just beginning to turn golden, about 8 minutes. Add ginger and garlic, stirring into onions until coated, about 1 minute.
2) Sprinkle curry powder over onion mixture and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cauliflower, water, coconut milk and bring to boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until cauliflower is very tender, roughly 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool mixture slightly.
3) Puree cauliflower mixture with immersion blender or blend in batches with a standard blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4) Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with creme fraiche or coconut creme. Garnish with microgreens or edible flowers and serve.
Note: The soup can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. If made ahead of time, cool complete before storing in refrigerator. Warm up before serving over medium heat, making sure to stir frequently.
Lemon Bean and Pearl Couscous
Serves 4 to 6
Not only is the Lemon Bean and Pearl Couscous visually enticing with its colorful mix of green and yellow, it easily translates into a delicious main dish with the addition of salmon or poached chicken breasts. If fava beans are unavailable in your area, feel free to double the amount of peas.
1 cup freshly shelled or frozen peas
1 cup fresh or frozen double-peeled fava beans
12 ounces yellow wax beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus additional for garnish
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 cups water
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh dill sprigs
pea shoots and garlic chives blossoms for garnish, optional
1) Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add peas and fava beans and boil until almost tender, approximately 4 minutes for frozen or 8 minutes for fresh. Add wax beans and continue boiling until vegetables are tender, about 3 additional minutes.
2) Remove beans and peas from water and refresh in ice water to stop cooking. Drain beans well and set aside. Note that the wax bean mixture can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.
3) Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add couscous and stir until golden brown in places, approximately 4 minutes. Add water as well as an 1/8 teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until couscous is tender and water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
4) Transfer couscous to large bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and lemon zest and cool completely.
5) When ready to serve, gently stir bean mixture, green onions, dill, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil into couscous. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon salad onto platter, garnish with pea shoots and garlic chive flowers.
Be sure to browse all of the new Spring tabletop additions from the Monique Lhuillier for Pottery Barn collection as well as the new bedding!