Quick, Fresh Summer Dinner Recipe

I always struggle with what to make for company. I am not a gourmet cook and my family are not gourmet eaters. My family likes my food, but I don’t have any go-to specialties when it comes to guests. When we had company last weekend, we knew we wanted to grill (because the heat has been oppressive lately), but choosing sides was a huge struggle.

This has become one of my go-to company recipes. It’s easy, fresh, and most people love it (or can at least find part of it that they like!) Almost everything can be made in advance and you can add anything you like. At a time when your garden is probably exploding with fresh produce, take advantage!

I did all of the chopping and cooking ahead of time, so I could spend time with my guests instead of fussing with the food. You can put everything in separate Tupperware containers, or pre-arrange your plate and put it in the fridge. The only things I left until the end were the avocado and grilling the chicken/salmon.

Below is an example of what my latest concoction included.

(Shout out to my SIL for the dressing recipe who, I think, got it from her SIL. I altered it slightly to add less sugar)

Chopped Salad with Homemade Poppyseed Dressing

2 Stalks of Romaine Lettuce
1 large Cucumber
1 pint of Grape/Cherry Tomatoes
1 can of Black Beans (Drained, Rinsed, and Cooked)
2 Hard Boiled Eggs
1/2 lb Bacon
2 Ears of Sweet Corn (husked)
1 Advocado
1 cup of Shredded Cheese

1/2 Sweet Vidalia Onion (Cut into chunks)
1/3 Cup of Sugar
1 Cup of Canola Oil
1/3 Cup Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Dried Mustard
1 tsp Poppy Seeds



Chop the Romaine,  Cucumbers, and Hard Boiled Eggs into chunks
Cook Bacon in the oven on aluminium foil for easy cleanup – 400 degrees for 15 – 20 mins.
Drain Fat. Allow to cool completely.
Place in food processor and pulse a few times to make Bacon Bits.
Boil or Grill Sweet Corn. Remove from cob.
Wait to cut the avocado until just before serving (so it does not brown)

Dressing Directions:
Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.

Arrange all of the items separately on a large plate and have tongs for self-service (Since it’s easier to pick things up with them)

Add Grilled Salmon (My Favorite) or Chicken for some protein.

It was a hit (even with the kids) and I had lunch leftovers for a few days. With so many flavors, it never got old.

Is this something you would try with your family? Leave me a comment below.