Planning a dinner party? Then here are a few straightforward recipes and serving ideas for you to try that are easy, effective and tasty.
Colourful Caprese salad
When juggling preparing a number of courses, you want them to be flavoursome, but as simple as possible, so you can enjoy spending time with your guests. One simple dish that looks great, tastes delicious and won’t take you long to prepare is a classic Caprese salad. Slice up and arrange a combination of fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste, plus a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Vibrant pea and mint soup
As the nights are drawing in, you might want something a little warmer, like soup. For a classic pea and mint soup, add half a bag of frozen peas, plus 1 ½ cups of vegetable or chicken stock to a pan and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about ten minutes. Add a handful of mint leaves and a ¼ cup of fresh cream or quark for the health conscious, then whizz with a hand blender.
If you’re not ready to serve, then use bains marie to keep your soup at a constant temperature, so you won’t need to worry. When the time comes to dish up your soup, give it another quick whizz with the blender, season to taste and serve with a mint garnish.
You can’t go wrong with a roast dinner. Supermarkets make it easy for us these days, with most cuts of meat accompanied with clear cooking instructions, with roast in the bag chicken remaining particularly moist and succulent. Team your roast joint with a variety of salads for a summer evening party or with roast root veg and potatoes for a more wintery vibe.
For a vegetarian choice serve a mushroom risotto, you’ll find a host of recipes online, but one which has particularly hit the spot is Gordon Ramsay’s version which adds some courgettes into the mix. You’ll leave all of your guests wanting more.
Summer fruit fantasia
For a dinner party pudding that won’t cause you any hassle, simply prepare a summer fruit salad accompanied with cream, yoghurt or ice cream. Alternatively, serve your summer fruit Eton Mess style, with crushed meringue and whipped cream, in a crowd-pleasing combination. Another variation you could try is a combination of yoghurt, fruit and crushed ginger biscuits layered into glasses for a colourful treat with a tantalising texture. Want a more autumnal dessert? Then add a crumble topping to your selection of seasonal fruit.
Your dinner party
So there you have a few ideas for simple dishes you could serve at your next dinner party. We hope you’ll soon be getting together with your friends and family to host a party that you’ll enjoy but won’t leave you feeling pressured. So you can relax and enjoy your guests’ company.