Just in time for the official beginning of summer, we got the garden replanted with cherry tomatoes, Italian parsley, arugula, and basil, some of the essential ingredients for summer pizza nights. The patio is looking pretty spiffy with freshly painted furniture and a new tablecloth. And it smells amazing out there between the honeysuckle and potted Meyer lemons in full bloom and mint gone wild underneath the window.

Meyer lemon

Just as I was thinking about planning a few parties out there this year, Darby Mulligan from ApartmentGuide contacted me to contribute to their Summer Soirées: The Perfect Dinner Party Menu guide. I was so pleased to be included and had fun brainstorming the perfect recipe to share. I wanted something that would be quick and portable to bring to a potluck or fast for a host or hostess to throw together so they could concentrate on entrees and table setting. Something appropriate for really hot afternoons as well as the cool foggy nights that we get here in the summers. And of course, a dish that took advantage of the bounty of the season.

It wasn’t hard to choose the watermelon salad a friend introduced us to several years ago. It’s a great way to dress up a sweet juicy summer watermelon, and is a favorite to serve with grilled meats, pizza nights, and taco Tuesdays here at Hale Pali Kai. It fits in well with the delicious recipes that Darby put together from other food bloggers out there.  She’s got a crunchy corn salad, unctuous tuna tostadas, and strawberry shortcake in a jar along with a simple margarita recipe and non-alcoholic frappés. You can click here for ApartmentGuide’s full Summer Dinner Party Menu.

What’s your favorite go-to summer recipe? I always love to hear what you all are cooking!