Picnic tableSummer grilling season is here and I've got a newly cleaned-up backyard, a big birthday to celebrate, and more than 50 people coming over. What I don't have is a big fancy grill or much experience with outdoor entertaining on a large scale.
Here are some recipe ideas and tips that I plan to follow which will help me cope - if you're hosting a party of your own, perhaps they can help you too.
Prep as much in advance as possible. I'll do my peeling and chopping at least the night before. I'll make my marinade and place in a resealable plastic bag big enough to fit the meat I'll be marinating.Related: Summer Entertaining Essentials
Grill vegetables that can be served cold or at room temperature, such as squash, eggplant, plum tomatoes, onions, and fennel. These I'll cook either the night before or that morning. This grilling guide is a big help for making sure they're cooked to perfection.
Panzanella saladMake some hearty salads that don't rely on greens that can wilt (or, use greens that could use some wilting).
- Kale Salad: Sturdy kale is primarily a winter green, but its season extends to springtime. It's delicious raw in a salad, but it needs some time to soften in the vinaigrette - perfect for making ahead.
Panzanella: The bread soaks up the dressing, which makes it extra delectable
Related: 13 Recipes to Try Before Summer Ends
- Grain salads: Barley and farro stand up well to (and benefit from) a longer soak, plus they're vegetarian friendly
- Potato Salad: What's a BBQ without that do-ahead lifesaver, potato salad? This two-potato salad is one of my favorites.
Barley gazpacho saladMarinate and grill some large cuts of meat (there's a lot less hands-on attention necessary). I'll make my go-to boneless leg of lamb.
And finally, rely on the generosity and kindness of friends to round out the menu and lend a hand whenever necessary!
For the actual day, I'll follow these pointers from Good Housekeeping to keep things organized and the party stress-free and festive. Do you have any tips or tricks to make prepping for outdoor parties go smoothly? Let me know in the comments.
- by Catherine Lo
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