Easy Summer Entertaining

Now that it’s glorious, glorious summer, we have been entertaining friends with the barbecue. Marc loves using his chimney starter to get the lump charcoal nice and hot and we use our trusty Weber Grill. This is instant relief for me, because then I just have to worry about a few easy sides and the meal is done! There is no way I’m letting everyone enjoy their frosty beverage outside while I slave away on the stove. Double no way. At the same time, I do want to offer very tasty food. Flash back two summers ago when I found this simple Martha Stewart basic potato salad. It has been a big hit at so many gatherings that I have had to share the recipe several times. The only downside is that you do, ugh, have to turn on the stove, but not for very long and it easily can be done ahead of time. That’s my biggest tip for summer entertaining. Get it prepared the night before and enjoy once the guests come over.

For this particular dinner party, I made Martha’s super easy potato salad and Smitten Kitchen’s easy and yummy X 100 Raspberry Buttermilk Cake. We grilled pork tenderloin with a simple olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme marinade and put two bunches of fresh asparagus in a large ziploc with olive oil, salt and pepper. The next day, I just handed Marc a ziploc with the tenderloin and another with the asparagus for the barbecue. Then I pulled out the potato salad. Done! Marc cooks the tenderloin for about 12 minutes, turning once, and the asparagus only takes about 5 or so minutes until they slightly get color. If you only knew the ooohs and aaahs we’ve had over this super simple meal!

Recipe: Easy Potato Salad

Adapted from Martha’s Everyday Food

I use the whole bunch of scallions for this recipe because I love that mild onion flavor it gives to the salad. The vinegar adds a very nice tang and I love that this salad does not have gobs of mayonnaise. You can also boil your potatoes, if you do not have a steamer, for approximately 10-15 minutes. Boil until tender, but not too tender or the potatoes will fall apart in the salad.

coarse salt and pepper

3 pounds waxy potatoes (yukon or new) scrubbed and in 3/4 inch cubes

1/3 C. white wine vinegar

1 bunch scallions, white part minced, green part sliced (I usually slice both and it works just fine)

3/4 C. mayonnaise

chives, for garnish

1. Set a steamer basket in a dutch oven (or large pot with lid), and add enough salted water to come just below the basket, bring to boil.

2. Place potatoes in basket, cover pot, and reduce heat to gentle simmer. Steam potatoes, gently tossing occasionally,  until tender,  15-25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine vinegar, scallion whites, 1 t. coarse salt, and 1/4 t. pepper. Add hot potatoes to vinegar mixture; toss to combine. Cool to room temperature, tossing occasionally, about one hour.

4. Add mayonnaise and scallion greens to cooled potatoes; mix gently to combine. Serve, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.

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