Ina Garten Just Shared Her Summmer Dinner Party Menu & You Can Make It Too

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Most people probably think about the fall and winter holidays as the big food-based gatherings of the year, but our favorite time of year to have dinner parties is actually summer. After all, that’s when we can showcase all of our favorite summer fruits and vegetables that are in season, and we always like to have an icy cocktail or two on hand to serve our guests (and these mocktail recipes are delicious, too!). Ina Garten, author of Go-To Dinners, totally gets where we’re coming from. How can we tell? Well, she just posted her own summer dinner party menu for six, and you can use it as a guide for your next summer dinner party, too.

A post shared by Ina Garten (@inagarten)

So, what does the Barefoot Contessa serve her guests in the summer? A six-item menu, most of which can be made ahead of time. She starts things off with a cool and refreshing Watermelon Cosmo, which is made with fresh watermelon juice. Garten uses a food mill to process chunks of watermelon into juice, but you can also use a juicer, or simply blend the watermelon and strain it.

Clarkson Potter.

She makes a creamy, hearty guacamole to serve as the appetizer. You can pair it with your favorite store-bought or homemade tortilla chips, and it’s delicious with a raw veggie platter, too.

For the main course, Garten whips up a shrimp and swordfish curry, because nothing says summer dinner party like seafood! The base of the curry can be made ahead of time, and then the seafood gets cooked in the sauce for about 7 minutes right before dinner. She serves the seafood curry with basmati rice.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a Barefoot Contessa dinner party without dessert. Garten makes hers twice as sweet, with a frosty coffee granita that’s served alongside crispy shortbread cookies. What’s amazing is that when you look at her instructions, and at how many elements of these dishes can be made ahead of time, it becomes apparent that this six-course summer dinner party for six people isn’t as impossible as it would seem without Garten’s help. You’ll make most of it ahead of time, so when your guests arrive, you’ll actually be able to make some summer memories together, instead of being holed up in the kitchen for hours while everyone else socializes.

Before you go, check out Garten’s best dinner recipes below:

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