When planning your next summer dinner party, look no further than your own garden! You planted one for a reason way back in the day… right? There’s no better way to celebrate summer than to cook (and bartend) with the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor – whether you garden in your backyard or on your fire escape! Let these five garden staples inspire your next summer meal and drink pairings- whether you’re throwing a party, having a family dinner, or eating solo.
When you have fresh, ripe homegrown tomatoes, you don’t want bury them in a tomato sauce. Let your tomatoes shine in this tomato basil mozzarella couscous, perfect both as a side dish at a dinner party or for a light weekday lunch.
For a tomato-based cocktail that doesn’t have the heavy, “I just ate a full meal” feeling of a Bloody Mary, try a Rickey Tomato – a riff on the classic gin rickey that uses muddled tomatoes instead of the usual lime juice.
Liven up your avocado toast with some fresh garden herbs! This avocado, feta, and mint toast makes a great party hors d’oeuvre when cut into bite-sized pieces.
To quench your thirst, take a break from Mint Juleps and try a Southside – a refreshing mix of citrus and mint (and gin, for added fun.) This drink is the perfect opportunity to break out that mortal and pestle and practice your mint-muddling.
Basil makes its way into sauces, pestos, and garnishes all year round. Making halibut with basil, garlic and tomato, however, showcases your fresh basil at the center of the meal. Plus, you get to use more of those delicious, ripe tomatoes!
If you’re not one for overly-sweet cocktails, this Cucumber & Basil Slush is the perfect savory drink for you. Pair it with the halibut – or another bright, summer dish- for a healthy, refreshing summer dinner.
These radish and asparagus flatbreads with ricotta will make an absolutely radishing – er, we mean ravishing – addition to your dinner table. The tart, crispy radishes and crunchy asparagus spears contrast with the creaminess of the ricotta. Even better – this flatbread is easy to transport from the kitchen to the park or beach!
And if you want to make your dinner party really rad(ish), this radish-centric cocktail packs a punch, with radishes included both in the drink itself and as a garnish. The word radish makes for good puns, if you were wondering.
Strawberries aren’t just for cakes and cobblers! To put your summer strawberries to good use at dinner time, try this fresh, berri-fied spin on the classic caprese salad.
While you’re at it, make those berries “buzz” by turning them into a Strawberry Gin Smash.