K.I.S.S. When it comes to a summer cookout, the old acronym means Keep It Saucy and Sweet. But it also means to keep the menu Simple. That’s what I intend to do this weekend at the farm. I’m relying on several easy to prepare fresh foods, starting with grilled chicken and brats. It doesn’t get much easier than that. (As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite brat is the Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola variety from Hermann Wurst Haus, which are now available at Hy-Vee in Jeff.)
Salads will be simple, too. One make-ahead favorite, Summer Salad, has a clean, healthy flavor. It’s a combination of chickpeas, fresh corn, frozen edamame, green onions, and plum tomatoes with a honey-lime vinaigrette.
I’m always looking for a way to lift a big green salad out of the ordinary. So I’m going with this Chipotle Sweet Potato Noodle Salad, using noodles made on my spiralizer. There’s never any problem finding someone to use this fun kitchen gadget. In addition to the spiralized noodles, this salad gets spinach, arugula, and fresh corn along with a splash of Chipotle Dressing. The vinaigrette is easily made ahead by tossing canned chipotle peppers, garlic, honey, olive oil, and the juices of an orange and lemon in the blender.
This time of year I love New Potatoes and Peas with a bit of mint—the way Martha Stewart makes them. Add to the menu a Tomato Caprese interspersed with slabs of Buffalo Mozzarella and fresh basil along with a loaf of warm Buttered Garlic Bread. I’m ready to celebrate!
Dessert is our salute to the day: a red, white and blue trifle, that a friend is making to give a patriotic flair to the occasion. Alternatively, there will be a large fruit bowl of watermelon and cantaloupe.
Now if the weather will just be dry and moderate. Fortunately, there’s always a cool breeze on the north porch.
Have a Happy Fourth!