I love having people over for dinner, but it can be stressful and chaotic if you don’t properly plan ahead of time. Here is the first of two menus for dinner parties I had this week, which will hopefully inspire you to have a few friends over for a low-key, home cooked meal.
The tomato/mozzarella salad can be made a head of time, as well as the rice (heat it up right before guests arrive). Place a large pitcher of water on the table so that guests can serve themselves. I made the cookies the day before and the salmon and asparagus go in the oven half an hour before guests arrive. I also serve the salmon right out of the parchment paper – my guests loved it and it makes the dinner less fussy.
• Salmon in parchment bags (available at the grocery or make your own) – Season with lemon slices and thyme. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.
• Roasted asparagus – olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put in with salmon for same amount of cook time.
• Basmati rice over the stove – Trader Joe’s
• Tomato, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic drizzle
• Farm bread with olive oil for dipping
• Mustard sauce for the salmon – equal parts Dijon and stone ground mustard, add honey to taste
• Chocolate chunk cookies for dessert
• Plus, my favorite stout and Colby Red wine (proceeds support the American Heart Association!)