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Summer Entertaining

Refreshing Recipes to Beat the Heat

Summertime…it’s the perfect time to gather with family and friends in the backyard. Whether it’s a patio, deck, or pool party, the main ingredients are still food, fun, and refreshments. With that in mind, here are a few mouth-watering recipes to try at your next summer shindig. 

With outdoor entertaining, we hope for beautiful, sunny skies, but it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan in case Mother Nature decides to “water” that day. Your garage is a great space and available in an instant simply by moving a couple of vehicles. Another thing to keep in mind is heat. If your space has no shade, you may want to plan an evening event or make good use of umbrellas and pop-up tents. And don’t forget music and games! But I digress. Back to the food and drink! 

Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

YIELD: Makes about 1 cup


  • 1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1 ½-2 pounds flank steak, or steak of choice. 


  • Make sauce: Puree all ingredients in processor. Transfer to bowl. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Sear steak for 6-8 minutes on each side until heavily browned on the outside and slightly pink in the middle.

Thinly slice steak across the grain and top with Chimichurri sauce.

Tomato Peach Burrata Salad

YIELD: Serves 6


  • Freshly ground black pepper
  •  A few big pinches of Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes or large plum tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes. (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
  • Two peaches
  • 8 ounces mozzarella pearls or small balls
  • 4 ounces burrata cheese
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves plus additional whole leaves for garnish


  • Combine salt through olive oil. 
  • Place the burrata cheese round on a platter. Arrange the tomatoes, peaches and mozzarella balls around cheese. 
  • Drizzle with dressing from bowl. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Garnish with additional basil leaves and serve.

Grilled Corn Salad

YIELD: Serves 4-6


  • 2 ears corn, grilled and cut from the cob 
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1/4 cup fresh feta or goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 sprigs basil, leaves removed and torn
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional)


  • Place corn kernels into a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Taste, and re-season with salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste.

Hummus with Toppings

YIELD: Serves 6-8


 Your favorite store-bought hummus

Topping Options:

  • 1 small zucchini or a few radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 handful watercress or microgreens

·         Additional topping ideas: fresh basil, crumbled feta cheese, 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or capers.

Pitcher Vodka Lemonade

YIELD: Makes six cocktails


 48 ounces homemade lemonade (or store-bought)

  • 12 ounces vodka
  • Ice, for serving
  • 1 lemon, sliced thinly
  • Fresh mint for garnish


 Make the lemonade or pour store-bought in a pitcher.

  • Add vodka and lemon slices (can be made the day before).
  • To serve: pour cocktail over ice and garnish with fresh mint.

Recipes by Lauren Lane Culinarian. For more recipes follow her at: Blog: Instagram: Lauren Lane_Culinarian