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On the Plate:

Foolproof Holiday Entertaining Recipes

Thanks to Ina, Sur La Table is able to share with you some of her Foolproof recipes to enrich your Holiday Entertaining meal. Ina has mastered creating recipes that are not only delicious but are easily created without stress and make you want to dive in and enjoy!

You can begin your feast with her Winter Minestrone with Garlic Bruschetta and support the big bird with her Provencal Cherry Tomato Gratin. So Come to the Table and share these Foolproof recipes from Ina with your family!

Photograph ©2012 by Quentin Bacon
Published by Clarkson Potter
a division of Random House

Serves 6-8 people


  • Good olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, ½-inch-diced
  • 1½ cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cups (½-inch) diced carrots (3 carrots)
  • 2 cups (½-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)
  • 2½ cups (½-inch) diced peeled butternut squash
  • 1½ tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 26 ounces canned or boxed chopped tomatoes, such as Pomi
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked small pasta, such as tubetti (see note)
  • 8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup good dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
  • Garlic Bruschetta
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Winter Minestrone
& Garlic Bruschetta

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large,
heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over
medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally,
until lightly browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash,
garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring
occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaf,
1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper to the pot.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered
for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. The soup should be quite thick but if it’s too thick,
add more chicken stock. Just before serving, reheat the soup,
add the spinach, and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a
salad). Cook just until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Depending on the saltiness of the chicken
stock, add another teaspoon or two of salt to taste.

Serve large shallow bowls of soup with a bruschetta on top.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and serve hot.

NOTE: To cook the pasta, put 1 cup of pasta into a large pot
of boiling salted water. Cook according to the directions on the
package, drain, and set aside. You can make this soup ahead
and reheat it before serving. It will need to be reseasoned.

Garlic Bruschetta

  • 1 baguette
  • Good olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Slice the baguette at a 45-degree angle in --inch-thick slices.
Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and bake for 6 minutes, until lightly toasted. Take the slices out of the oven and rub the surface of each one with the cut clove of garlic.

Reprinted from the book Barefoot Contessa Foolproof
by Ina Garten. Copyright © 2012 by Ina Garten.

Photograph ©2012 by Quentin Bacon
Published by Clarkson Potter
a division of Random House

Serves 6


  • 3 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1½ tablespoons plus ¾ cup good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cups coarse bread cubes from a country bread (crusts removed)

Provençal Cherry
Tomato Gratin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the tomatoes in a 9x13-inch ceramic dish.
Add the 1½ tablespoons of olive oil, thyme, 1 teaspoon
salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and toss together.
Spread the tomatoes evenly in the pan.

Place the garlic, parsley, and ½ teaspoon salt in the bowl
of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process
until the garlic is finely chopped. Add the bread cubes and
process until the bread is in crumbs. Add the ¼ cup of olive
oil and pulse a few times to blend. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly
over the tomatoes.

Bake the gratin for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crumbs are
golden and the tomato juices are bubbling. Serve hot or warm.

Reprinted from the book Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten. Copyright © 2012 by Ina Garten. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

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