First Course

Food & Drink

Caramelized Leek and Goat Cheese Tart Recipe with Fresh Herb Salad | What’s Cooking

Brunch idea: Caramelized leek and goat cheese tart recipe with fresh herb salad from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

Start with crisp, smoky bacon, then sautée some leeks with a little garlic until delicate and flavorful. Whisk together sour cream, tangy goat cheese, thyme, fresh eggs and fold in the bacon and leeks. Pour this rich custard into our buttery, easy-to-prepare tart dough (no rolling required!) and bake for 30 minutes. Bam. Brunch is served! And isn’t it spectacular? (Equally so as a lunch or first course.)

This savory Goat Cheese and Leek Tart is best served with our bright and lemony Fresh Herb Salad, which was specifically developed to go alongside it, and a drizzle of the best aged balsamic vinegar you can get your hands on.

Caramelized leek and goat cheese tart recipe with fresh herb salad from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

TURN YOUR KITCHEN INTO THE BEST BRUNCH BISTRO IN TOWN

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Food & Drink

Greek-Style Lamb Meatballs Recipe with Spicy Chili Glaze | What’s Cooking

Greek lamb meatballs recipe baked with spicy chili sauce from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

Plated as a first course (like they are served at our Blue Stove restaurants) or all together on little skewers as an hors d’oeuvre, these Chili-Glazed Lamb Meatballs are delicious anytime of year, but work especially well as an Easter appetizer recipe idea—traditional lamb prepared with a twist for the holiday.

Greek-inspired herbs and spices flavor the interior of these baked meatballs, while a spicy pasilla chili sauce lends a smoky earthiness. The pepper glaze’s heat gets cooled down by a pool of Greek yogurt, and it’s all topped with refreshing mint and parsley scattered on a crunchy radish and cucumber salad. Easy to make, this meatball recipe with a Mediterranean flair is an impressive-looking tribute to the beginning of spring.

Greek lamb meatballs recipe baked with spicy chili sauce from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

THE MOST DELICIOUS GLAMOROUS LOOKING MEATBALLS: GET OUR RECIPE

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Food & Drink

Classic French Onion Soup Recipe | What’s Cooking

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Alors! Leave it to those clever French to find a way to throw a bunch of nothing-special onions in a pot, add some stock, stale bread and a bit of cheese and have the results magically turn out full of rich, refined flavor that you never want to stop putting in your mouth. French onion soup has an air of sophistication that makes it seem impossibly hard to make. But really this is an easy, old peasant’s dish (the most delicious ones often are), and if you’ve got the patience to stir a pot of thinly sliced onions for about 30 minutes, then you’ve got all the sophistication it takes to create this classic soup.

If you want to serve this recipe as a first course at a party, complete step one a day ahead, then just reheat it on the stove before moving on to step two. For best results, take your time with the onions over medium heat; much like the French, they don’t like to be rushed. And slice them pole to pole, as opposed to across the equator—you’ll get a less stringy finished product.

French-onion-soup-ingredients

IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS AND FEEL SO FANCY >

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Food & Drink

Summer Berry Salad Recipe with Blackberry-Champagne Vinaigrette | What’s Cooking

Two years ago, one of the first recipes that kicked off our What’s Cooking series was a summer berry salad with balsamic fig vinaigrette and spiced, candied almonds. We thought it high time for a new salad idea featuring everyone’s favorite summer ingredient (berries!) for those hot and sunny days.

Mixed Summer Berry Salad Recipe with Blackberry Champagne Vinaigrette. Photo by Jeff Powell.

This time around, we’ve got snack-on-the-leftovers-worthy candied walnuts and a beautifully colored (and flavored) Blackberry-Champagne Vinaigrette. Rounding out this salad, roasted chicken breast and blue cheese (pick a good creamy but crumbly one or a goat cheese, if you find blue too funky) ground everything with their savory notes. Prep your ingredients up to two days in advance, and you’ve got a dinner salad–or office lunch everyone will jealously eyeball–at the ready whenever you are.

You’ll have extra berries after making this recipe. I’d encourage using the additional blackberries to serve up a couple Amelia Cocktails with vodka, lemon and St. Germain, or get a couple extra pints while you’re shopping and make your menu a real berry bonanza with a summertime dessert like our Shortcakes with Lemon Curd or White Chocolate Mousse.

Mixed Summer Berry Salad Recipe with Blackberry Champagne Vinaigrette. Photo by Jeff Powell.

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Food & Drink

Grilled Focaccia Farm Bread Bruschetta Recipe | What’s Cooking

This generous first course – or light lunch – has some serious epicurean chops both in presentation and in taste. I’d describe this recipe as a fresh and delicious mix between a caprese salad and bruschetta, with a flourish–namely a peppery arugula pesto and sweet, complex balsamic vinegar reduction.

Grilled Focaccia Farm Bread Bruschetta Recipe from Nordstrom with Arugula Pesto, Balsamic Glaze, Burrata, Seasonal Tomatoes and Micro Basil. Photo by Jeff Powell.

Here, our homemade focaccia bread and ripe tomatoes are accompanied by rich and creamy burrata cheese. This particular cheese can be a challenge to find (fresh mozzarella could be substituted), but burrata, which is fresh mozzarella stuffed with shredded mozzarella and cream, is worth seeking out. To garnish, microgreens add a beautifully pro touch, but a chiffonade (slicing) of basil also works.

Grilled Focaccia Farm Bread Bruschetta Recipe from Nordstrom with Arugula Pesto, Balsamic Glaze, Burrata, Seasonal Tomatoes and Micro Basil. Photo by Jeff Powell.

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Food & Drink

Bistro Crab Stack Salad Recipe, Holiday Entertaining Menu 1st Course | What’s Cooking

Our chefs, Wit & Wonder Gifts team and blog editor take the stress out of planning a full-course menu that’s memorable (in a good way) and won’t keep you stuck in the kitchen all night. In a special What’s Cooking series, we’re serving up six perfectly paired, delicious recipes and inspiration for holiday entertaining—from drinks and dessert to décor and gifts.

Now that conversation—and some amazing cocktails—are flowing, you’re ready for the first course on our menu, and it’s definitely a looker. A bit of dicing is the hardest part of this wow-factor, towering salad. Fresh avocado, tomato, cucumber and mango all get pulled together with our seriously tasty Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette (the same dressing used in the popular Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad at our Nordstrom Cafe). Tangy, refreshing and topped with crab, this salad sets a high bar for the next two courses to come.

Nordstrom recipe for the Bistro Crab Stack Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette; photo by Jeff Powell.
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