Summer brings sweltering days, but it also offers respite from the high temperatures in the refreshing waters of the pool. Cool off with a delightful summer picnic poolside, with our ideas for salads, ceviches and sips to beat the heat.
Cool Summer Salads
Salads can be favorite additions to a summertime picnic or a main-course entrée that’s convenient to pack along to the pool. There are so many options! Why not try these ideas:
- Asian chicken salad with ginger sesame dressing
- Tossed green salad with grilled Greek chicken and feta
- Garden tomato, cucumber and onion salad
- Watermelon-feta salad
- Caprese salad
- Couscous salad with heirloom cherry tomatoes, cucumber and onion
- Fruit salad
- Pasta salad
Recipe: Watermelon Feta Salad
Whisk together ¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil, 2 TBSP red wine vinegar, ½ tsp kosher salt in a small dish to create the dressing. Cut the red part of the watermelon into 1” chunks and place in large bowl along with 1 cup chopped cucumber, and ½ cup thinly-sliced red onion. Add 1 cup crumbled feta and dressing and toss to coat. Garnish with additional salt.
Recipe: Caprese Salad
Slice large tomatoes and mozzarella into thick slices and arrange on a serving platter, with the mozzarella slices on top of the tomato slices. Chiffonade fresh basil leaves and scatter over the top of the tomato and mozzarella. Drizzle the arrangement with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top with salt & pepper to taste.
Idea: For a fun alternative to the standard Caprese salad, use toothpicks to assemble cherry tomatoes, tiny mozzarella balls and basil leaves into individual servings.
Even Cooler Ceviches
Ceviche is a seafood dish make popular in Peru, where raw fish is cured in citrus juices like lime or lemon and spiced with other seasonings. The acids in the citrus breaks down the fish protein and infuses it with flavor, “cooking” it for you. Time out how long your seafood sits in the citrus, as it will continue to break down as it sits. You’ll want to serve it “just right.”
Selecting the fish: Use the freshest seafood available. Shellfish like shrimp, crab and conch, or semi-firm white fish like flounder, sea bass, grouper, mahi-mahi, or striped bass work best. Be sure to remove shells, bones and skin when prepping the fish, and keep it refrigerated.
Recipe: Shrimp Ceviche
Remove shells and veins, and chop raw shrimp into bite-sized pieces. Place into large bowl. Add 1 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice and stir to coat shrimp. Cover and refrigerate bowl for 1 ½ to 2 hours. (If using cooked shrimp, refrigerate for 15 minutes.)
Cut into a small dice 1 peeled cucumber, 2 avocados, 1 red onion, and 1 seeded jalapeno pepper (keep some seeds if you like it spicy). Place into a bowl. Chop 1 bunch fresh cilantro and add to bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, remove shrimp from refrigerator and add the fresh vegetables. Stir to combine. Add Clamato juice, enough to moisten the mixture, and season with black pepper and salt. Serve immediately and keep chilled.
Idea: Create poolside elegance by serving your ceviches in individual martini glasses!
Perfect-for-the-Pool Icy Sips
There’s nothing like a frosty-cold drink to cool you down. Lucky for you, the variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options is endless! Try these options!
- Pina colada
- Sangria with fresh fruit
- Strawberry or lime daiquiri
- Wine slushy or frosé
- Raspberry iced tea
- Homemade lemonade or limeade
- Frozen lemonade
- Sherbet punch
- Fresh milkshakes
Recipe: Homemade Lemonade
Boil together in a medium saucepan ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Turn off heat and set aside. Cut the zest off three lemons into wide strips and add to sugar mixture. Let cool for 30 minutes.
Juice three lemons and strain to remove zest and seeds. Pour into a large pitcher. Stir in the cooked sugar mixture and three cups of water. Stir to combine. Serve over ice.
Idea: Use crushed ice instead of cubes!
Can’t Stand the Heat? Let Maison Culinaire Cook & Stay out of the Kitchen!
When it’s hot outside, leave the cooking to Maison Culinaire. We can design an entire poolside menu that will please both children and adults. Invite the entire neighborhood if you like!
Request a variety of summer salads, try a ceviche sampling, and complement the meal with ice-cold sips for all. Poolside isn’t limited to these options; we can provide a full meal, an outdoor barbeque or picnic boxes for your get-together. We can fully cater your meal, deliver it, or arrange for pick-up as you desire. The options are unlimited.
Maison Culinaire specializes in international cuisine, so we can create dishes from anywhere in the world. Just let us know your theme and we’ll cook up something good.
Contact Maison Culinaire to set your summer menu.