Adapted from Spafinder
The time is here for summer BBQs full of colourful cocktails, fresh salads and good friends. While getting back to socializing in person may take some getting used to, with these tried-and-true recipes there will be plenty to chat about! Check out a few favourite recipes below from A Couple of Cooks and Southern Living — and treat your guests to healthy dishes and drinks.
Nothing says summer like watermelon — it’s cool, refreshing, and delicious. And this crowd-pleasing salad elevates watermelon from a juicy snack to a fantastic side dish.
- 8 cups cubed ripe seedless watermelon (1 8-pound watermelon)
- 2 organic mini cucumbers or ½ English cucumber (1 cup sliced)
- 2 ounces Feta
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 4 basil leaves
- Sea salt, for garnish
- Chop the watermelon into cubes. Slice the cucumbers (if using an English cucumber, slice it into half-moons). Chop the basil. Zest the lemon.
- Arrange the watermelon and cucumbers on a platter. Sprinkle with feta crumbles, lemon zest, and sea salt. Taste and adjust flavours as desired. (If you’d like, you can add freshly ground black pepper or a drizzle of olive oil.) Serve immediately.
If making ahead, refrigerate the cubed watermelon separately: it releases a lot of water after it is cut. Then assemble the salad directly before serving.
Splash into summer with this sweet yet sophisticated drink. The playful red colour makes it perfect for a summertime bash – just be careful, it’s so tasty that you might drink them faster than planned.
- ½ cup chopped watermelon (or ¼ cup watermelon juice)
- 2 large mint leaves
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) vodka
- ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) Cointreau
- ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) lime juice
- 1 teaspoon simple syrup
- For the garnish: small watermelon wedge
- Add the watermelon and mint to a cocktail shaker. Muddle (gently mash) with a cocktail muddler or wooden spoon to release the juices. (If you’re using watermelon juice, simply muddle the mint first.)
- Add the vodka, Cointreau, lime juice and simple syrup. Fill with ice and shake until cold.
- Strain the drink into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a small watermelon wedge, if desired.
Strawberry Salad with Warm Goat Cheese Croutons
When you need a break from watermelon, simply skip over to strawberry heaven. This salad is bright, cheery, and will have everyone clamouring for the recipe. It’s the perfect addition to any patio potluck!
For the Salad:
- 2 (4-oz.) goat cheese logs
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- ½ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 5 ounces mixed baby greens
- 1 ½ cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- Garnish: dill sprigs
For the Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette:
- 1 cup quartered fresh strawberries
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- Cut each goat cheese log into 4 rounds. Gently press each round to 1/2-inch thickness on a baking sheet and freeze 20 minutes.
- Place the flour in a small bowl. Whisk together the egg and milk in a second small bowl. Combine the panko, salt, and pepper in a third small bowl. Dredge goat cheese rounds in flour, dip in egg mixture, and dredge in panko mixture until coated. Place on a plate, and chill until all goat cheese rounds are breaded.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium until hot. Add goat cheese rounds to skillet, and cook until golden brown on each side, 3 to 4 minutes total. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
- To serve, arrange salad greens on a serving platter; top with strawberries, cucumber, onion, and goat cheese croutons. Drizzle with vinaigrette, and garnish with dill sprigs.
To Make the Vinaigrette:
Toss together strawberries, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl; let stand 15 minutes. Transfer the strawberry mixture to a blender, and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Turn blender on low, and gradually add olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Return mixture to bowl, and whisk in poppy seeds. Whisk vinaigrette just before serving.