Sharing Food with Friends: Casual dining ideas and inspiring recipes for platters, boards and small bites

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Eating well at home doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen. Put together a selection of these stylish dishes full of flavour and relax.

This is food you can whip up at the end of a working day or during a busy weekend. Kathy Kordalis offers inspired ideas for creating dishes to share at home, whether you are serving brunch, lunch, dinner, nibbles with drinks or a family feast. Within each sharing menu there are lists of things to buy in, dishes that require simple preparation, plus recipes to cook from scratch. In Autumn, reflect the bounty of the harvest with dishes that include seasonal treats like squash, chard, beets and purple artichokes. Winter is a time for comfort food at its finest. It's dark, it's cold, it's probably raining. The only antidote is a cosy home and a dining table groaning with delicious things to eat. Serve comforting spiced tomato soup with cheese scones, a good old-fashioned beef stroganoff and chilli chocolate mousse. Come Spring it’s time to lighten up. Young vegetables with tangy dips, small bowls of pea and mint risotto, artichokes with the perfect vinaigrette and herb-garnished gin and tonics. Let it shine in Summer. Head outdoors and have fun with the barbecue, cooking seafood and setting up dazzling dessert stations for al fresco fun. Finally, embrace the art of feasting, whether cooking a special dinner for Valentine’s Day or celebrating a big event. Serve a stunning centrepiece rib of beef or a classic whole salmon served with sumptuous sides. Ultimately, it’s all about spending quality time at home and enjoying yourself.