One of the best parts about summer is how easy it is to have friends over for dinner. It’s pretty effortless to grill up a few dishes, and there’s an array of delicious produce in season. The Fourth of July is an excellent opportunity to plan a little backyard get together; here’s what I typically serve up at my BBQs:
- Little wieners wrapped in bacon – kids love these and so do adults; if you want to get fancy, wrap prosciutto around dates and bake them in the oven
- Fruit kabobs – I find that kids eat more fruit when it looks fun. I stack different types of fruit pieces on skewers and then stand them up in a low vase on the table/serving area
- Penne pasta salad with tomatoes and arugula – this dish is adapted from an old Martha Stewart recipe and one of my favorites. It’s delicious, filling and really easy to make:
- Penne noodles (I love Barilla gluten-free)
- Salt & Pepper
- Balsamic Vinegar (optional)
Place arugula at the bottom of a large serving bowl. Cook pasta to directions, drain the noodles and place them on top of the arugula while hot. As the arugula is steaming under the heat of the pasta, chop the basil, tomatoes, olive, a small amount of onion, and place on top of the pasta. Finally, top with olive oil, a little lemon juice, salt and pepper. You can also add a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar to taste.