The Monthly Collection
Anna Stockwell Takeover Edition!
To celebrate the release of her new book “For The Table,” we’ve invited chef and dinner party host extraordinaire Anna Stockwell to takeover our May Monthly Collection. Anna shares her favorite wines, a special dinner party playlist, and a perfect-for-any-season salmon recipe. Tchin Tchin!
Hi! I’m Anna, Wine + Peace fan girl, customer, occasional contributor and future event co-host (more on that soon!). What I love most in the world is bringing people together around a table to share a meal (and good wine). I love it so much I just wrote a whole book about how to make the act of gathering for dinner easier, more accessible, and more fun. The act of welcoming old and new friends into your home and gathering around the table is what’s special about a dinner party. Putting out a couple platters of food prepared just for that table of people, passing those platters around until everyone’s had their fill—this sharing feeds more than just bellies. It is what helps us stay connected, form new relationships, and build lasting bonds. Now more than ever, this act of intentional gathering for a festive dinner is a useful ritual to bring into our lives.
My book is full of seasonal menus for dinner parties of all sizes and all possible dietary restrictions, and each menu features just two recipes to serve family-style along with a homemade sauce. Because nothing makes a dinner feel like a special dinner more than a sauce. The menu below is from my spring chapter, and it’s one of the easiest to prepare menus. It features a whole side of salmon, which is always an impressive looking and crowd-pleasing thing to present for the table. Alongside, a crunchy sweet-tart salad of celery and stone fruit and herbs. Add bread, add sauce, and more than a few bottles of cold wine.
A Whole Side of Salmon and Celery Fruit Salad
A Spring recipe from "For The Table"
Slow Roasted Side of Salmon
1 (31⁄2- to 4-pound/1.6- to 1.8-kg) whole side of salmon or steelhead trout, skin on
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) olive oil, plus more for serving
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving
Flaky sea salt, for serving
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
Place the salmon on a sheet pan and pour the olive oil over it, then turn the salmon to completely coat in the oil. Season both sides with the salt and pepper, landing skin side down on a sheet pan. Roast until the fish is opaque throughout and just able to easily flake when pressed, 20 to 30 minutes. Be careful not to overcook—the time it takes will depend on the thickness of your side of salmon, so start checking after 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. The salmon can sit at room temperature, loosely covered with parchment, for up to 1 hour. If you need to make it in advance, cover it well once cool and chill overnight. Let come to room temperature from the fridge for 45 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
Here’s the trick to leave the skin behind without actually having to skin the fish: Slide two spatulas between the skin on the sheet pan and the cooked fish, working from opposite sides at the same time, then carefully lift the fish and transfer it to a serving platter. Best to have that serving platter right next to your sheet pan. If the fish breaks while you transfer, don’t sweat it—it’s going to get flaked into pieces as people serve themselves anyway. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with flaky salt, then serve with the lemon wedges alongside.
Celery and Stone Fruit Salad
2 bunches celery, stalks separated and thinly sliced on a diagonal, leaves reserved
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
6 apricots or four peaches,
sliced, or 8 ounces (227 g)
cherries, pitted and halved
1 cup (30 g) mint leaves
1 cup (95 g) sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Toss the celery in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the salt, then let sit for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, remaining teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Add the celery leaves, stone fruit, mint leaves, and almonds to the bowl of celery, pour the dressing over, and toss gently with your hands to combine. Use your hands to lift the salad out of the bowl and onto a serving platter, leaving any remaining dressing in the bowl behind.
Anna's Dinner Party Picks
A collection of great tunes for entertaining
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