Spring garden party

Celebrate the season with a festive alfresco buffet
ANDREW BAKER

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Although Helene Henderson caters parties for some of Hollywood's biggest names, her recipes are down-to-earth. Her own vegetable patch, in fact, inspired this casual but elegant meal, which she hosted in the garden for family and friends.

Kaleidoscopic tomatoes and potatoes, lanky beans, and fragrant herbs, including her trademark lavender (her company's name is Lavender Farms Catering), give the menu vivid color. Many do-ahead steps make it easy to set out the first tastes of spring.