Say Farewell to Summer!


An easy lunch or supper is a great way to say goodbye until next year.

By FamilyTime

 

Everyone's home from summer vacations, school year routines are established and the fall holiday season is still months away. The sun still shines, the farmers' markets burst with great looking vegetables and fruit, and gardens are still lovely. Is summer really over?

Yes, no doubt about it: Summer is waning and the glorious autumn weather is just around the corner. Why not mark the changes of seasons with a simple weekend lunch party or easy supper? If you plan lunch, think about eating outside in the warm sunshine. How many more opportunities will you have?

Lunch may seem tricky, though. What do you do with the kids? Will your friends be too busy to carve out time during the day? If this is the case, move the party to the evening. But regardless, plan to have a great time!

Soup and Salad

Both soups and salads are excellent starters for any meal, and they also can be the main course. For a light meal, consider vegetable soup, a green salad, and some home-baked cornbread, zucchini muffins, or herb biscuits. The soup could be a gazpacho or vichysoisse, if the weather is still hot -- or perhaps a cream of broccoli, red pepper or tomato soup, or corn chowder.

If you want to serve a main course salad, how about an arugula salad with sliced grilled steak or chicken (you can grill the meat ahead of time), olives, goat cheese, and a light sherry vinaigrette?

Other good salads, all served over fresh greens with sliced tomatoes, if possible, are cashew chicken, grilled shrimp, or grilled tuna.

The Main Course

For a more substantial main course, try poached salmon, grilled bass, or oven-baked chicken parts. Grilled pork tenderloin is another delicious option. Simple marinades will perk up the flavor of the fish or meat. An easy chutney or salsa served alongside also enliven them.

With the entree, serve cold blanched string beans dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and light vinegar, steamed or braised cauliflower with roasted red peppers, or perhaps a zucchini casserole. A green salad with crunchy radishes, peppers, and croutons, a little feta cheese and a zingy dressing rounds out the meal.

Hot bread is always a big hit at a simple meal. Make your own biscuits, rolls, or pan bread, or slice a baguette, brush it with garlic butter and heat it up.

Dessert

Late summer and early fall desserts are lusciously delicious. Try home-baked blueberry-apple pie or crumble. How about homemade ginger ice cream with lemon cookies? Commercial sorbets and ice creams are delicious served with fresh fruit.

Most of all, keep it simple, keep it fresh, and keep it seasonal. Luckily, at this abundant time of year, doing so is easy and rewarding.