Make-Ahead Menu for Backyard Entertaining

Invite the neighbors over, and welcome the season at a laid-back party with easy-to-prepare food.
Andria Scott Hurst and Cybil B. Talley

Outdoor Party Menu:

  1. Citrus Party Olives
  2. Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad
  3. Italian Eggplant Vinaigrette
  4. Rosemary Grilled Flank Steak or Lamb Chops
  5. Very Berry Sundaes

Entertaining is easy when you take it outside. If you need a stress-free evening with friends, here's a great menu. Let your budget help you choose between lamb chops (more expensive) or flank steak (a nice cut, but less costly per pound than the chops). The joy of this party is the make-ahead aspect--you can do everything except cook the meat beforehand. As you finish up, friends can join you to enjoy that fresh-from-the-grill aroma.

While the atmosphere is casual, the food is stellar. You'll love what the smoky flavor adds to the pasta salad and eggplant vinaigrette. Bring out your favorite beverages, and you're set. Refreshing berry sundaes offer a sweet, cool ending to the meal. So go ahead--invite your friends to supper from the grill.