Cooking

What's for Dinner: Backyard Freestyle

Loosen up with this breezy summer menu
Open-Faced Salmon Sandwich
Photo: Tasting Table

Not feeling inspired by your usual dishes? Here's what's for dinner.

Some recipes require extensive planning, three days of prep and a late-night dishwashing session. This dinner does not consist of such things. Instead, take it easy tonight, using these ideas as guidelines—after all, you're the one eating the final product. Throw it all together in a flash and take it outside for a relaxing dinner alfresco now that we're (officially) in the midst of summer. Or, you know, don't. It's up to you.

① Appetizer: Roasted Poblano and Pecan Guacamole
The one consistent instruction in making guacamole is usually "mash some avocado," so we consider guacamole recipes more akin to suggestions. Though Hugh Acheson's version is aces, there's always room for personalization. Want more heat? Chop some serrano peppers. Not a pecan fan? Go with almonds.

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② Main Course: Smoked Salmon Smørrebrød
Smørrebrød is Danish for "don't even worry about topping your sandwich." Go for a high-quality smoked salmon, since you'll definitely taste the difference without the extra bread as buffer. You don't even have to cook any component of this dish—but we won't tell anyone if you toast the bread.

③ Dessert: Fig and Raspberry Galette
A galette is dessert's answer to the open-faced sandwich. Though it's not for perfectionists, it tastes just like pie and requires only a fraction of crust-related effort. This one highlights the season's fleeting stock of fresh figs, plus juicy raspberries, and lends an herbal flourish from fresh thyme.

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