Size Matters

Small Plates. Big Flavor.

 

A must-have for your next book club, date night, or dinner party, comedian and chef Anthony LeDonne's Size Matters explores meals beyond mains. He could have called it tapas, but he was tired of his mother making the joke, "Topless?! Does the food not have a shirt?" *cue straight face emojis everywhere* 😐

With LeDonne's trademark snarky wit, stunning photography, foolproof recipes, and boundless humility, Size Matters features over 100 delicious small plates designed to be eaten alone as a regular meal or grouped together for an epic dinner party that demands just one more glass of wine...

Whether you're tired of the standard appetizer + entree + side dish = dinner routine, or simply want to break the meat and potatoes rut (though, there's a game-changing recipe for that too!) Size Matters proves it's not the size of your plate that matters—it's what you put on it.

 
 

Intro

 

In most cookbooks, authors use the Intro section to tell you the story of how the book came about. Maybe there was a trip to the Italian coast that sparked a lifelong love for fresh seafood. Or maybe the author bought a new air fryer and wants to sell you on all the things you can make with the contraption. Or maybe the intro features a heartfelt story about how the author lost weight after trying dozens of gimmicky diets.

But this isn’t most cookbooks. This one doesn’t have a story.

This one has a moment.

My moment?

You know that moment when you’re sitting in a restaurant, when the entrées arrive, and the conversation just…dies?

There’s usually a huge fanfare as four waiters descend on the table and simultaneously deposit a dish in front of each diner. And then everyone kinda stares at their food. Doing that mental check—did they get the ketchup? beans on the side? are these diver scallops? And after the dish passes muster, they dig in with knife and fork and start shoveling food into their faces like it was a race.

That’s the moment I’m talking about.

Don’t get me wrong, this can be a welcome intrusion if it interrupts your tablemates’ inane story about their offspring’s new phrase that you didn’t ask about. “No matter what you say to him, Little Trevvie says ‘Cool’. It’s the cutest thing. Here’s a dozen videos of him saying it.” 😐

But more often than not the conversation is good. It’s fun. It’s entertaining! It’s the whole reason you got together with these people in the first place!

That’s the moment I’m talking about—the Big Plate Blunder.

Which is why I love sharing small plates. Smaller dishes keeps the focus on the company, not the food. You can grab and dip a chip without stopping your story. Grab a meatball, pass the plate. It’s the culinary equivalent of puff puff pass.

I love getting arancini to start while we sip our Vespers. And then splitting some ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms with our second round. And then an order of cacio e pepe while we switch to wine. And then some lamb lollipops. And then dessert. And then coffee. (Don't worry, there are recipes for all these and more.)

Small plates allow for variety. They’re less of a commitment. Not sure if you want the entire steak? Get that and the risotto and split them with your date.

My wife and I face the same issue at home. I can’t tell you how often I feel like I’m in a cooking rut where I’ll pick up a rib eye, a potato, and some broccoli for dinner. But that gets old. I want the variety of excellent bar bites, damnit!

So I wrote this book.

I wrote this book to give people recipes to keep the conversation going. I wrote this book for people who want thoughtful dishes to pass around the table, drinks they could make for friends, food they could grab with their hands, recipes for things on sticks, toasts, and in bowls.

I wrote this book for people who want small plates and big flavor.

I wrote this book for you.

So have I convinced you to buy the book yet? Are you won over by my story … er … moment?

I hope so. Because the book’s pretty damn good, and it’d be a shame for you to miss out.

Alright, enough from me… It’s time for you to call up a few of your closest friends, open a bottle of wine, and get cooking!

 
 

Sticks

Burrata, artichoke, baby lettuce, lemon

Caprese Skewers

Chicken Bites: Buffalo

Chicken Bites: Madeira

Chicken Bites: Marsala

Chicken Bites: Piccata

Fajita Skewers

Greek Skewers: Watermelon, Feta, Cucumber, Olive, Mint

Grilled chicken skewers, salsa verde

Hanger steak skewers, country bread, nut romesco, salsa verde

Italian Antipasto Skewers

Short Rib Skewer, roasted shallot, red wine reduction

Steak Skewers, cilantro radish salsa, flatbread

Bowls

Arugula salad, shaved fennel, heirloom cherry tomato, mint, basil, parm-reg

Brussels sprouts, granny smith apple, creme fraiche, pistachio

Cacio e Pepe

Campanelle, Pumpkin, Sage Brown Butter, Almond

Cauliflower Cacio e Pepe

Frisee, lardons, poached egg

Fundido

Gnocchi with Pancetta, Preserved Lemon, Parmesan

Gnocchi, brown butter, sage

Herbed Brown Butter Tagliolini with Ritz

Mixed Nuts

Pappardelle with beef chunk bolognese

Pesto Pasta

Popcorn

Ricotta

Saffron Risotto

Soy-glazed Roasted Carrots, labneh, honey

Tortellini, peas, robiola

Tuna Tartare, avocado mousse, ginger-soy marinade

Boards

How to cheeseboard

Burrata, 5 ways

Dips

Million Dollar Dip

Whipped Ricotta, Honey, Chives, Pine Nuts

Balls

Arancini with Kalamata Aioli

Beef and Ricotta Meatballs, red sauce, parm

Crab Cakes

Crispy Artichokes with kalamata / black olive aioli

Crispy soft-boiled egg

Croquettes

Stuffed Dates, almonds and cheese, wrapped in prosciutto or jamón

Deviled Eggs

Falafel, fava bean, tzatziki, quick pickled cabbage

Fried 🍆

Fried Mashed Potato Balls

Heritage Pork Meatball, roasted tomato sugo, polenta, parm-reg

Lamb meatballs, roasted red pepper, brown butter labneh, pine nuts

Short Rib Meatballs

Spinach + Cheese Croquettes

Squash Blossoms, Ricotta, Pesto

Tots

Toasts

"Ham & Cheese"

Brown Butter Basted fish, Capers, Grilled Bread

Grilled Cheese Sando

Skirt Steak Pintxos

Toast Party! Avocado

Toast Party! Bruschetta

Toast Party! Chorizo, Manchego, Quince Paste

Toast Party! Jambon sec, brie, blackberry preserves

Toast Party! Mushroom Bruschetta

Toast Party! Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Balsamic

Toast Party!: Black Olive Tapenade, Anchovy, egg

Buns

Chorizo, Manchego, quick-pickled allium, salsa verde

French Onion Sliders

Lamb Sliders

Mushroom & Thyme Sliders

Pulled Pork Sliders, pickled cipollini onions

Turkey & Brie Sliders

Desserts

Affogato

Almond Roca

Caramels

Chocolate-Almond Cake Brownie [It’s a thing]

Chocolate Truffles

Homemade Doughnuts

Ice Cream Cookies, brown butter cookies, pistachio ice cream

More Ice Cream Cookies, peanut butter cookies, vanilla ice cream

S'mores

 
 

Photography