Throw a Pinterest-Worthy Fourth of July Party with an Exclusive Menu by The Forest Feast's Author

Strawberry Caprese Appetizers - The Forest Feast
Photo: Erin Gleeson, The Forest Feast

We fell head over heels for Erin Gleeson's epically beautiful cookbook, The Forest Feast ($23,, so when she offered to create an exclusive menu for InStyle readers, we jumped at the chance!

Erin Gleeson

Gleeson's inspiration as a chef, photographer, and artist sharpened during her cross-country move from New York City to a cabin the pacific northwest's woods. Plopped into a fish-out-of-water scenario, Gleeson ditched her slick, perfectly lit food photography style for something West-Coast cozier. Armed with the healthy, locally grown goodies from her CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box and inspired by the mossy wonderland she calls home, Gleeson produces artful food that is as good for you as it is to look at.

For the Fourth of July, Gleeson has armed us with a Pinterest-worthy menu which includes Strawberry Caprese Bites, sparkling Peach-Basil Sangria, hearty Artichoke Potato Salad with Arugula, and appropriately patriotic Red, White, and Blue Triple Berry Parfaits.

Read on for her gorgeous menu!

Strawberry Caprese Bites

You'll need:

8 oz strawberries

8 oz fresh mini mozzarella balls

1 bunch of fresh basil


On a toothpick, stack one strawberry, one basil leaf and one fresh mozzarella ball.

Note: you may opt to do a half strawberry, a half mozzarella ball and a leaf of basil to make them more bite sized if your strawberries are big.

Peach Basil Sangria - The Forest Feast
Erin Gleeson, The Forest Feast (2)

Peach-Basil Sangria

You'll need:

1 bottle of white wine

½ cup peach schnapps

1 fresh peach, cubed

½ cup fresh basil, chopped


Stir all ingredients in a clear pitcher. Chill before serving. Pour over glasses of ice. Serves 4-6.

Artichoke Potato Salad - The Forest Feast
Erin Gleeson, The Forest Feast (2)

Artichoke Potato Salad with Arugula

You'll need:

40 mini red potatoes

10 whole garlic cloves

8 oz. marinated artichoke hearts

2 c fresh arugula

Vinaigrette salad dressing

Roast about 40 mini red potatoes (halved) and 10 whole garlic cloves with olive oil, salt and pepper at 450º for 25 minutes, or until fork-tender and golden.

Toss cooled potatoes and garlic with 8 oz. chopped marinated artichoke hearts and 2 c fresh arugula, plus a splash of your favorite vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature. Serves 4-6.

Red, White, and Blue Berry Parfaits - The Forest Feast
Erin Gleeson, The Forest Feast (2)

Red, White, and Blue Berry Parfaits

You'll need:

1 cup yogurt (I used Greek)

1 cup whipped cream

8 coconut cookies

½ cup blueberries

½ cup raspberries

½ cup blackberries

6 large strawberries

Put 4 of the cookies in a plastic bag and crush them into crumbs using the bottom of a jar. Slice the strawberries into small bits. Starting with the yogurt, layer each item in a small (approximately 6 oz) clear glass. Alternate cream/yogurt, cookie crumbs and berries, trying to keep the pattern red/white/blue. Save a bit of whipped cream for the top, and top each cup with a whole cookie and a couple berries. Serves 4. Serve chilled.

Note: You can also make one big parfait in a large clear glass container.

Get more ideas for Fourth of July entertaining here!

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