Summer entertaining is all about freshness, simplicity and color. Butler’s Pantry suggests using fresh, local ingredients especially at this time of year. Summer is full of bright colors; use these colors to your advantage. Finally, keep it simple and cool off with the perfect summer menu.
1. Executive Chef Greg Ziegenfuss suggests planning the meal around cold or room-temperature items paired with food fresh off the grill. This gives the host time to visit with the guests as the last-minute items are being prepared on the grill.
2. Sliced cucumbers with balsamic vinaigrette and parmesan cheese are an easy summer appetizer. The cool, crisp taste of cucumbers is perfect for a hot summer day. Ziegenfuss suggests preparing the vinaigrette a few days in advance and adding it to the cucumbers just before serving.
3. Decorate your serving table with a splash of color. Director of Visual Design, Brian Blasingame, suggests adding sliced fresh lemons to a clear, glass vase for additional decoration. Add bright flowers including roses, lilies, and Gerber daisies. Wrap the vase with twine for a simple, country-inspired feel.
4. An antique watering can is a great centerpiece for the buffet table. Arrange fresh-cut flowers in the watering can and set it out for all to see. The watering can is perfect for tall, colorful flowers, or beautiful, lush greenery.
5. Offer an infused summer spritzer. A summer spritzer is easy to make, try the recipe below from Chef Greg:
Sparkling Hibiscus Spritzer
1 hibiscus flower (available packed in syrup from specialty grocers and an occasional high end liquor store, or on-line)
2 oz. hibiscus syrup (use the syrup which the flowers are in)
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
6 oz. Perrier, or similar sparkling water.
Garnish with lemon twist.
Place syrup and lemon juice in a glass, top with ice and sparkling water. Garnish with the hibiscus flower and a twist of lemon. For an adult version, add 2 oz. of a flavored vodka such as a pomegranate vodka.
Entertaining this summer is simple with these quick tips and ideas.
For more information, visit www.butlerspantry.com.