Book & Dinner Club – Delicious!

We had another lovely farmers’ market season this year, but we couldn’t even wait for it to be over before starting our fourth book & dinner club this fall. With 10 women signed up for food & fellowship on Tuesday nights, we had our largest book club yet; spending six wonderful weeks reading & eating our way through Ruth Reich’s novel, Delicious!

The delightful story followed Wilhelmina “Billie” Breslin, a young writer, as she navigates the politics of publishing through her job at the fictional Delicious magazine, while reconciling the traumas of her past with the hope of her present. It’s a sweet tale of friendship and love, all enhanced by scrumptious descriptions of food.

This was our first fictional book, which brought a new bit of fun to the reading and discussion. It was the second book that didn’t have recipes integrated into the story so we had lots of freedom to pick which mentioned foods we wanted to try, and find corresponding recipes to make the dinners. This club installment brought many firsts into our kitchen, including homemade gnocchi, ravioli, meatballs, soufflé and panettone—all of which turned out beautifully (and delicious!). There were a few culinary delicacies we weren’t able to source including squash blossoms, mangle-wurzels, milkweed and bottarga; nonetheless, everyone left each week with full bellies from trying new things!

Building community is one of our core values and book & dinner club is one of our favorite methods of sharing life with people. We loved laughing and crying with our multi-generational club members as we read through a novel that if sugary sweet, was also full of enduring truths and engaging characters.

Want to replicate our delicious book & dinner club? Check out what we enjoyed each week below.

Week 1
Lemon basil gnocchi with zucchini
– Green salad with homemade Caesar dressing
– Croutons (stale Italian bread, brushed with olive oil, spiced with red pepper flakes and garlic salt, and toasted in the oven for 10 minutes at 350).
– Ginger cake balls (made with the one recipe included at the back of the book)

Week 2
Gorgonzola soufflé
– Roasted beets and kohl-rabi
Homemade seeded crackers
– Salami, burrata, swiss, brie and apricots
Apricot tuile cookies

Week 3
Pumpkin ravioli in butter sage sauce with walnuts
– Deviled eggs
– Shredded kale salad with currants, toasted pine nuts and a lemon/olive oil dressing
Cherry “snowball” cookies

Week 4
Shrimp scampi over linguine
Green salad with steamed asparagus, strawberries, feta cheese & balsamic glaze
Panettone with currants, sultanas and orange peel

Week 5
Garlic butter seared chicken with truffle butter
– Roasted red potatoes (halved & tossed with olive oil, sliced garlic and rosemary. Spread of parchment paper/baked sheet and cooked for 40 minutes at 400 (toss half-way through)
– Brownies (admittedly from a box mix)
– Eddy’s coffee ice cream

Week 6
Meatball sandwiches on toasted sesame buns
– Green salad with steamed asparagus, sugar snap peas, shaved parmesan and lemon/olive oil dressing
Lemon madeleines

p.s. Still hungry for more?
1. Follow the author, Ruth Reichl, on Instagram & sign up for her newsletter through La Briffe.
2. Listen to the Dinner S.O.S. Podcast
3. Subscribe to Bon Appétit & Epicurious for access to thousands of test kitchen-approved recipes!
4. Sign up for the next Philo Collective Book & Dinner club. Registration opens soon!

Published by Lo Beatty

Passionate Believer. Freelance writer. Addicted to coffee, sunshine & laughter. Loves to untangle knots. Reads magazines out of order. Thinks cake is a separate food group. Inspired to find & share about the remarkable things that make life extraordinary.

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