Modern Potluck: Beautiful Food to Share

Every cook at a potluck wants to go home with an empty dish. Formerly of Food & Wine, Kristin Donnelly has a lifetime of experience with shared meals, first in a large extended Pennsylvania family, then as a food editor writing about the perfect dinner party. When motherhood limited her prep time, she returned to the concept of every guest bringing a dish. Modern Potluck is her collection of 100 "updated, foolproof, crowd-pleasing recipes" that are "a little bit impressive."

A "Rules of the Potluck" introduction alleviates anxiety about bringing cooks together. Donnelly designed the recipes to be made ahead, travel well and scale up for a crowd or down for a family. Eight chapters cover categories including drinks and condiments "and other things in jars": Who wouldn't welcome Spicy Fennel Salt? "The 9x13-Inch Pan" chapter offers modern spins on classics, including Smoky Squash Mac & Cheese and Healthy Root Vegetable Gratin with Buttery Walnuts.

From carnivores to vegan diners, Modern Potluck guarantees everyone at a communal table will clean their plates with delight. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, manager, Book Passage, San Francisco

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