Cooking

What's for Dinner: Summer Soiree

Kick off summer entertaining season with this large-format menu
Paella Mixta
Photo: Tasting Table

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

Whether you're celebrating the onset of summer and the end of the workweek or just don't want to eat alone tonight, a dinner party is always the answer. The thought of feeding a lot of people at once may be daunting, but there's no reason to worry: The season's longer days mean no one will notice if the meal isn't ready until the sun's already set. We're providing the menu, so all you have to do is decide which friends you deem worthy of the feast.

① Appetizer: Anchoïade (Garlic and Anchovy Dip)
Proper preparty mingling requires a substantial supply of snacks. This garlicky French dip is on the salty side, which means you best have a cocktail at the ready to quench your guests' thirst.

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② Main Course: Paella Mixta
A good dinner party needs a pièce de résistance, and this showstopping paella delivers. The cooking magic happens outside on the grill, so you can make a masterful surf-and-turf meal without heating up the whole house. Plus, this means you can stage a dramatic entrance with a giant pan of smoky, shrimp- and chorizo-studded paella.

③ Dessert: Roasted Grape and Red Wine Trifle
This dessert is a simple exercise in layering—and leaving. Let the ladyfingers soak up the drunken grapes like cookie sponges while you mingle with guests. Serve it in individual ramekins or use a larger dish for an effortlessly rustic look.

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