5 End-Of-Summer Crowd Pleasing Recipes For Your Next Dinner Party

While it feels like we’re heading full-speed ahead into fall and everyone’s half sister is already posting about their pumpkin spice lattes, the calendar tells us it’s still *technically* summer. Sure, there’s an occasional breeze, but it still feels like summer most days and all that good summer produce is at its absolute peak right now. So, why not throw a party to celebrate it all?

I’ve rounded up my favorite warm-ish weather recipes that are easy to put together for a crowd. From watermelon sangria, beet deviled eggs (my latest obsession), the perfect crudité hummus platter, grilled corn (another favorite) to a scrumptious banh mi—you’ve got all the recipes you need to throw a dinner (or lunch) party. Make one or make ‘em all…just promise me you’ll have some fun!

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Grapefruit Watermelon Sangria

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1 cup chopped watermelon
2/3 cup fresh grapefruit juice, from 2-3 grapefruits, plus an additional grapefruit for garnish
1 750 ml bottle rosé (if you prefer a dry, crisp taste) or white zinfandel (if you’re looking for sweet)

In a large pitcher muddle half the watermelon with a muddler or wooden spoon, just until the fruit breaks down and releases some juice. Add the grapefruit juice and wine along with the rest of the watermelon and some grapefruit slices. Serve over ice and garnish the glass with a grapefruit slice.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

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Makes about 2 cups
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic
½ cup roasted red pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons tahini
¼ cup olive oil, plus additional as needed
½ teaspoon coarse salt
Paprika, for garnish

Instructions:

Combine the chickpeas, garlic, roasted red pepper, tahini, olive oil, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of paprika. Serve with crudités.

Note: Hummus can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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Beet Deviled Eggs

Makes 12 servings (recipe can easily be doubled)
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 40 minutes

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One 14.5-ounce can pickled sliced beets
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 
1 tablespoon brown sugar 
6 large eggs 
1/4 cup mayonnaise  
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard  
Pinch of kosher salt 
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper  
Minced chives, pickled onions or jalapeños, for garnish 

Pour the brine of the pickled beets into a small saucepan (reserve the beets). Add the apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a low boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let cool completely.

  1. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. With a ladle, slowly lower the eggs into the water one by one. Reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for 10 minutes; drain. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, remove the shells.

  2. Place the eggs in a small bowl or a jar. Pour the cooled beet brine mixture over the eggs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours. The longer the eggs are in the brine, the deeper the shade of pink they will be.

  3. Slice each egg in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place them in a food processor. Arrange the whites cut-side up on a serving platter. To the food processor, add the mayo, mustard, salt, pepper and one of the pickled beet slices. Process until well blended and smooth. Taste for seasoning. If you want a deeper pink, add another beet to the mixture and process (reserve the remaining beets for another use).

  4. Transfer the mixture to a resealable plastic bag. With scissors, snip off a bottom corner from the bag. Using the bag like a pastry bag, pipe the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Garnish with minced fresh chives. Cover loosely and chill until ready to serve.

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Parmesan Thyme Grilled Corn

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6 ears of corn, husked
½ cup butter, melted
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ tsp. lemon pepper
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
sprigs of fresh thyme (or dried)
In a bowl, combine the butter, garlic and lemon pepper. Set aside.

Place the husked corn on the grill directly. Grill on high for 2 mins on each side, or until the corn is golden brown. Remove from the grill and place each piece of corn on a square of non-stick foil. Brush on a generous amount of the butter mixture. Place sprigs of thyme all over the corn and sprinkle with a generous amount of parmesan cheese. Loosely wrap the foil around the corn. Place back on the grill for about 2 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.

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Banh Mi Summer Sandwiches

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Fresh baguette, cut into 4 equal pieces
Mayonnaise, Kewpie mayo if possible, to taste (I love adding some sriracha to mayo for a kick)
8-12 thin slices of head cheese
Quick-pickled daikon and carrots (see below)
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Sliced jalapeños (optional)
For traditional pork sandwiches, you can use: Pork pâté, to taste and 8-12 thin slices of ham
For fish: you can use any type of grilled fish. I like using grilled salmon or a crispy cod or tilapia. Here’s my favorite Salmon Banh Mi recipe and Crispy Cod one too.
For vegetarian: I like adding grilled portobello mushrooms and/or grilled tofu

Quick-Pickled Daikon and Carrots

1 large carrot, julienned
2” piece of daikon, julienned
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar

1. Make the quick pickles. Put the carrots and daikon into a bowl and sprinkle on the salt and sugar. After 15 minutes, rinse off the pickles, drain well and place in the fridge until ready to assemble your banh mi.

2. Slice the baguette lengthwise, but not all the way through. Spread a thin layer of pâté on the bottom and a thin layer of mayo on the top. Layer on slices of head cheese, then ham. Top with pickled daikon and carrot, cilantro and sliced jalapeños, if using.

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