This recipe post is part of my partnership with Grapes from California. I hope you enjoy it! It’s perfect for an easy summer evening.
What a whirlwind few days. I can’t believe another summer weekend is in the books. The weeks are really flying by, aren’t they?
Dear Summer: Please slow down.
I think you guys probably already know this about me, but summer is my absolute favorite time of year. I honestly love everything about it. Ok, I can do without the mosquitoes and crazy-oppressive humidity, but everything else is what makes the season so enjoyable for me…
The sunshine. The beach. Long walks in the evening. Days that seem endless because the sun doesn’t set until 8PM. Lobster dinners. Flip flops. Watermelon. Ice cream. Splashing in the pool. The smell of the ocean.
Outdoor events. Boat rides. Smoothies. Patios with sparkling lights. Fruity cocktails with fun straws. Napping outside. Dining al fresco. Late-night talks around the fire pit. Cool evenings. Hooded sweatshirts. S’mores.
My list could seriously go on and on and on. I just love summer that much.
One of my most favorite things about summer is spending time on our back deck with people I love. We recently hosted a dinner at our house that ended up being one of my favorite evenings of the summer so far. I actually think keeping the menu simple was key because we were able to focus on our time spent together instead of running around the kitchen.
Part of keeping the menu uncomplicated and straight-forward was using fresh, flavorful produce that our local grocery store is just bursting with right now. Our main dish– a big salad– was incredibly delicious, healthy, and fresh, and it took me a matter of minutes to put together.
The star ingredient was red grapes from California, which are available now through January and are always ripe and ready-to-eat. Fun fact: 99% of table grapes commercially grown in the US are grown in California, so grapes from California are truly your local grape.
In addition to grapes, the salad also included a wonderful mix of fresh, summer ingredients, including arugula, blueberries, cucumbers, and goat cheese.
I drizzled a raspberry vinaigrette on top (I think a strawberry vinaigrette would work well too!) to further enhance the flavors within the salad.
While we sipped cocktails and caught up on the back deck, Mal grilled up a couple of chicken breasts to add to our salads for some additional satiety. All in all, it was outstanding– yet simple– summer meal that everyone enjoyed.
Question of the Day
Your turn! What are 3 things you really love about summer?