Summer is by far my favorite time to play hostess. I love creating menus that are inspired by what’s looking best at the market (so much to choose from!) but also what can be pulled together easily with little hassle and fuss. I’d always prefer to be lounging in our yard drinking a glass of rose with friends rather around than stuck in the kitchen waiting for a dish to finish in the oven and overheating the house. As always I try plan menus around dishes that can be prepped ahead so I can be relaxed and enjoy the time with friends and family.
Time and again I return to taco night because it draws on fresh produce and is so versatile. Start by picking a protein (I stick to fish or steak) and then build out a menu from there. I like to make some kind of slaw, guacamole, an additional veggie side or two and then add the fixins’ (salsas, sauces, dips). Taco spreads are also the perfect excuse to mix up a batch of Margaritas, which can also be made ahead and a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
A Summer Taco Spread
Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
– I love that the steak can be marinated hours ahead, I adjusted the spice in this one for the kiddos.
Simple Grilled Fish
– Try this super simple marinade – spice can be adjusted but you don’t need much as the accompaniments will add lots of flavor. I made these in the oven on a foiled covered pan – baked for 10 minutes at 450.
Fennell and Apple Slaw
– This is a really nice alternative to a cabbage based slaw – I actually added thinly sliced green cabbage and mixed with mustard greens which was delicious. Love the simple vinaigrette.
Fresh Corn Salad
– Love that the corn doesn’t even need to be cooked for this super fresh salad!
Grilled Shishito Peppers
– This recipe calls for sautéing but I just placed in grill basket after tossing with a little olive oil and sprinkled sea salt to finish.
Batched 3-2-1 Margaritas
– This Recipe calls for 3 simple ingredients: Tequila, Orange Liqueur (Triple Sec or Cointreau and Fresh Lime Juice. I added a little simple syrup to taste and rubbed glasses with a fresh lime and then ran over sea salt.
For dessert I would just serve your favorite ice cream with fresh berries!