Your Favorite Blogger Just Released a Cookbook, and It’s Epic

We’ve got the fall recipes and entertaining tips you need!

cook beautiful cookbook

photography by JOHNNY MILLER

Athena Calderone, plus her design and entertainment blog EyeSwoon, hardly need an introduction. But, just in case: Calderone describes herself as an interior designer, visual and culinary storyteller, and entertaining expert—and if that wasn’t enough, she’s added cookbook author to the long list. Her first book, Cook Beautifully, will be on stands and online October 10.

Extensively and impressively broken down by seasons, Cook Beautifully offers not only delicious recipes, but of course, impeccably beautiful recipes. We have the delight of showcasing two of our favorite fall recipes from the book: Shaved Brussels Sprouts With Pine Nuts and Green Olives, and Pan-Roasted Chicken With Shallots and Dates.

And if that wasn’t already good enough, Calderone gave us her favorite fall entertaining tips as well. Preheat the oven, you’re going to want these recipes ASAP.

cook beautiful cookbook Athena

photography by JOHNNY MILLER

Golden Glow
Bring the colors of the natural world to your table and create autumnal warmth with sculptural seasonal produce like persimmons, golden beets, and velvety wild mushrooms. Carry golden hues through your glassware and flatware to give the feeling of warmth that we crave in the fall.


cook beautiful cookbook tablescape

photography by JOHNNY MILLER

Take Cues from Your Setting
Be holistic about the choices you make for your event to tie it all together. If the setting is rustic, make your table settings raw and rustic too. For farm dinners, I love to incorporate autumnal elements like cinnamon sticks, clippings of golden-hued fall flowers or sprigs of wheat tied with twine on rustic linen napkins. Playful and textural touches like hay-bale seating really set the mood!

For a dinner in my townhouse, we were still under construction when the time of the event rolled around. We embraced it and decided to play up the atmosphere by setting the table with canvas drop cloths. They fray beautifully at the edges when torn, bringing texture and sense of the “intentionally un-done” to the decor. You can continue the look by using small strips of the drop cloth to tie together a seasonal bunch of foliage each guests’ plate.

cook beautiful cookbook entertaining

photography by JOHNNY MILLER

Fall Foliage 
Forage decor from your own garden: a beautiful turning leaf or minimal branch placed simply on a guest’s plate is impactful and simple!

cook beautiful cookbook Brussel sprouts

photography by JOHNNY MILLER

Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Pine Nuts, and Green Olives
Serves 4

  • 2 large lemons
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 pound (455 g) Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • ¼ cup (40 g) pitted Castelvetrano olives, roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup (90 g) ¼-inch (6-mm) chunks pecorino Sardo cheese
  • ¼ cup (30 g) pine nuts, toasted
  • Aleppo pepper, for sprinkling (optional)
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving
Make the dressing: Grate the zest from 1 lemon; squeeze ⅓ cup (75 ml) juice from both lemons. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the salad: Using a mandoline, very thinly slice the Brussels sprouts into a large bowl. Add the olives and pecorino, reserving a handful of the cheese for garnish. Drizzle the salad with the lemon dressing; toss until the Brussels sprouts are evenly coated. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

To serve, garnish with the pine nuts, remaining pecorino, and a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper, if desired. Finish with a sprinkle of flaky salt.

cook beautiful cookbook chicken

photography by JOHNNY MILLER

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Shallots and Dates
Serves 4

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on, chicken breast halves
  • Salt and freshy cracked pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces/55 g) unsalted butter, divided
  • 10 shallots, peeled, larger ones halved lengthwise
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 8 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
  • ½ cup (120 ml) dry white wine
  • 1½ cups (360 ml) low-sodium chicken stock
  • 8 Medjool dates, pitted and halved lengthwise
  • 2/3 cup (105 g) green olives, smashed and pitted
  • 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
Set the chicken out at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 450˚F (230˚C). Position a rack in the top third of your oven.

Place your largest cast-iron skillet in the oven for 15 minutes. Pat the chicken breasts dry and generously season them on all sides with salt and pepper. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and place it on the stovetop.

Add the grapeseed oil to the skillet and heat it over medium-high heat until the oil has a subtle ripple effect. You want the oil to be very hot.

Working in two batches, cook the chicken, skin-side down, until the skin is crispy and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan.

Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it onto a plate as you build your sauce. Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the skillet and add the shallots.

Cook the shallots undisturbed for 5 to 6 minutes, until they are caramelized and golden. Add the garlic, a few thyme sprigs, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and season with salt and pepper. Toss the shallots and continue to cook until they begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce it by half. Add a few more thyme sprigs and the stock. Simmer the sauce over medium to low heat for 15 minutes, until reduced slightly. Check for seasoning and add the dates and olives to the sauce.

Return the chicken breasts to the skillet, skin-side up, and place it in the oven. Roast the chicken until it’s just cooked through, about 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of breast should register 160°F (70˚C).

Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate; set them aside and keep warm. Return the skillet to the stovetop over medium to low heat and add the vinegar to the sauce. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove it from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the lemon juice. Check and adjust the seasoning. Return the chicken to the skillet and serve it immediately, garnished with the remaining thyme and the lemon zest.

cook beautiful cookbook cover

photography by JOHNNY MILLER

Published on October 09, 2017 - 5:06pm EDT

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