Add Summer Spirit to Your Spirited Table

by Sue Zelickson, Tastemaker in Residence

Let this fun idea for summer entertaining add health and spirit to your table. I first discovered it in a lovely restaurant in the South of France.   

 Now picture this lined with lettuce and full of the sweetest sliced veggies and fruits!

Now picture this lined with lettuce and full of the sweetest sliced veggies and fruits!

They presented a basket lined with lettuce from the garden full of summer veggies. I often line my basket with loosely filled bags of crushed ice. 

If you’re serving it immediately, fill the basket with summer veggies; raw baby carrots and radishes (all varieties and colors and leave the tops on). String beans, grapes, baby tomatoes, jicama, cucumber, zucchini spears, sugar snap peas, broccoli and cauliflower fleurettes, and variously colored pepper strips. 

Add a few ramekins of assorted salts and dips, include one with soft butter for dipping the radishes. Place these in the basket amongst the veggies or around the outside of it. 

Enjoy this beautiful presentation for healthy summer munching as a first course to pass and share at the dinner table, in place of a salad. It is an outstanding display on a buffet as well. 
  
Another playful summer idea is to carpet your tabletop with fake or real grass. This provides the perfect table cloth for your summer buffets. It looks fabulous with baskets of food planted on top! If you’re using real grass sod, be sure and check for bugs before setting the table.

If you’re in a colder climate, hurry and get in the Summer spirit as it only lasts a short time!