So whenever the actress finds herself back home in L.A. (the series films in Vancouver), she gathers a few friends for festive dinner parties, where the real fun takes place before sitting down at the table. "Everyone brings a different recipe and we make one big meal together," says Appleby, 31.
"As the hostess, you're kind of the director of the evening," says the actress. And once everything is cooked, she rolls out the red carpet for finished dishes. Says Appleby: "You put some music on, you have some wine, and it feels like a party!"
Menu: Fluke with Tarragon Vinaigrette and Grape Salad (see below)
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower
Strawberry-Mango Mesclun Salad
Fluke with Tarragon Vinaigrette and Grape SaladServes 4
For the vinaigrette
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tbsp. grapeseed or canola oil
1 ½ tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ small shallot, minced
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 ½ tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
1 ½ tsp. grainy mustard
Juice of ½ lemon
1 ½ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. kosher salt
For the salad
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh chervil
¼ tsp. finely chopped fresh chives, plush a few sprigs for garnish
½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. olive oil
1 cup halved black or red seedless grapes
¼ cup grapeseed or canola oil
4 6-ounce fluke fillets
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
1. Whisk all of the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. To make the salad, whisk the chervil, chives, lemon juice and olive oil together in a medium bowl. Add the grapes and gently toss to coat. Divide among four plates and set aside.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the fluke fillets with the salt. Add 2 fluke fillets and sear until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes (less for thinner fillets, longer for thicker ones). Use a fish spatula to turn over and sear the other side until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the fish to a plate and repeat with the remaining fillets, adding more oil as needed. Drizzle each fillet with some vinaigrette and serve.
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