As August comes to a close, we are relishing the warm evenings and bounty at the farmer’s market. Inspired by all the green outdoors we created a simple and special dinner party to celebrate this season. We hope you try it out with your family and friends and enjoy effortless, start to finish entertaining!
We had so much fun going green with this dinner party. We selected the fresh flavors of mint, lime, kiwi, zucchini and summer squash to be the stars of our recipes. They represent summer on a plate and their colors are so alive and gorgeous. Plus, we made things simple – this is a less stress, less mess way to entertain and enjoy!
Our Fresh Summer Dinner Party Menu:
- Fresh Mint Mojitos
- Baked Zucchini and Summer Squash served with Pasta
- Lime Ice Cream Pie
THE FRESH MINT MOJITO
- 8 oz. white rum
- 4 limes
- 2-3 oz. mint simple syrup*
- 16 oz. seltzer/club soda/sparkling water
- 4 mint sprigs
- Wash limes, squeeze the juice of 2 limes into the pitcher.
- Cut remaining 2 limes into wedges so each lime yields 8 pieces. Reserve 4 lime wedges. Squeeze 12 lime wedges into pitcher (toss in wedges after you squeeze in juice.)
- Add rum and mint simple syrup to pitcher and stir – now you have your “mojito juice.”
- Fill glasses halfway with ice and then halfway with “mojito juice”. Top with seltzer/club soda, stir with stirrer, and dress drink with a lime wedge and mint sprig.
*Taste your cocktail before serving, if you like your mojito sweeter/more minty, stir in a little more mint simple syrup.
Mint Infused Simple Syrup – the beauty of infused simple syrup is that you are free to imbibe without green mint in your teeth. A party faux pas!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves
- Heat sugar and water in non-stick saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat, add mint, cover, and allow to steep for five minutes.
- Strain mint through a fine mesh sieve. Store simple syrup in refrigerator for up to one week.
BAKED ZUCCHINI and SUMMER SQUASH WITH PASTA
This flavorful summer vegetable bake is simply divine served over pasta.
- 1 large squash, washed and sliced into ¼” rounds
- 1 large zucchini, washed and sliced into ¼” rounds
- ¼ cup minced onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Olive oil
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Kosher salt
- 4 pats of butter
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease 1.5 oz. casserole dish.
- Add squash, zucchini, onion and garlic to large mixing bowl and toss with 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
- Layer vertically (stand them on their edges) squash and zucchini – alternate colors while layering to create visual interest. Using a spatula scrape remaining olive oil, onion and garlic from bowl on top of vegetables.
- Top with pats of butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 30-35 or until cheese is just golden brown and vegetables are cooked through.
Cook 1lb of your favorite pasta and top with the Baked Zucchini and Summer Squash. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper.
LIME ICE CREAM PIE
Graham cracker crust, filled with luscious lime-infused French vanilla ice cream makes for a refreshing summer’s dream dessert. It takes 3 simple steps: bake crust, fill, freeze and serve. Remember to use a baking dish that can go from oven to freezer.*
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 quart (32 oz.) French vanilla ice cream, softened
- 6 oz. can frozen limeade concentrate, softened
- 5 lime wheels
- 1 kiwi wheel
- Place 14 graham crackers (approx. 1.5 packets) in a sealable plastic bag, using back of large mixing spoon finely crush.
- Measure two cups of graham cracker crumbs into large mixing bowl. Pour melted butter over crumbs and thoroughly mix until all crumbs are covered by butter.
- Grease 6” x 9” (1.5 oz.) casserole dish with butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Reserve ¼ cup of graham cracker mixture.
- Spoon remaining mixture into casserole dish and evenly distribute across the bottom and ¾ of the way up the sides of the dish, pressing firmly to pack down crust.
- Bake for 8 minutes.
- Allow to thoroughly cool.
- Combine softened ice cream and limeade concentrate in a large mixing bowl. Mix together until thoroughly incorporated. Pour into piecrust and distribute evenly. Sprinkle reserved graham cracker mixture around perimeter of pie and garnish with lime and kiwi wheels.
- Cover and freeze for at least 6 hours.