Last month I started posting a menu series with a Mediterranean Inspired Father’s Day Menu. Today I’m continuing the series with a great, easy menu for casual summer entertaining. Each of these recipes can be made or prepped hours or days ahead, which means you can spend more time with your guests.
A little something to start the meal.
I always love a nibble to start things off! I would probably pair this 5 Minute Tapenade Mayonnaise with some crackers or crispy pita bread and a small cheese platter. Goat cheese is a classic combo with tapenade. Brie or a soft mozzarella (especially burrata!) would also be lovely.
Time for a drink!
This Strawberry and Lime Vodka Collins is a great summer time drink. Fresh made strawberry syrup tastes like summer in a glass. You can make the strawberry syrup up to a week ahead, mix up the base of the drink in a pitcher earlier in the day, and stir in the club soda just your guest arrive. For younger guests, sub in some more club soda for the vodka.
The main event.
I love this easy and juicy recipe for Grilled Breaded Chicken Breast! You will need to coat the chicken in the breadcrumbs shortly before putting it on the grill. However, you can trim and pound the chicken breasts, chop up the tomatoes, and mix up the dressing before anyone arrives. And it’s thin chicken breast, so it grills up in a flash.
Veggies. We need veggies.
I always like to have a few veggies on the table and my Green Bean Salad with Goat Cheese and Almonds is one of my favorites to serve to guests. The green beans and the almonds can be cooked up earlier in the day and you can toss the salad together just before everyone arrives. (Noting that the almonds are best left off the salad until you are serving. They can get soggy when kept in the dressing too long.) I frequently make the salad with all green beans, but if yellow beans are available, pick up some. It makes the salad so pretty!
Starches to complete the meal.
Okay, this Sunny Yellow Squash and Potato Gratin does have to come hot out of the oven just before serving. However, you can do the prep and assemble it earlier in the day, and it doesn’t need any last minute mashing or other active kitchen work. And it’s really tasty! Yum. 🙂
A sweet ending.
A great, summer get-together needs a great, summer time dessert! I have a few different summery fruit desserts here on the blog that I love, so it was tough to choose, but I decided on my Summertime Peach Cake. This cake can be made a day or two ahead, then dressed up with powdered sugar and sliced peaches just before you bring it out. It’s great on its own, or with some whipped cream or ice cream on the side. (Note: If you are looking for gluten-free get together, I have a number of gluten-free desserts. Switch out for one of those and use gluten-free breadcrumbs on the chicken.)