It’s creeping up much faster than you think: The first day of spring is March 20th. The weather’s warming, the produce selection is improving, and you likely haven’t hosted too much in the three months since the holidays. Meaning? Your moment has arrived. Fire off the group text, send that email, or go nuts and pick up the phone – spring is in the air, and you’re going to surprise and delight the ones you love with a next-level get together.
But first, get ready for the new rules of springtime entertaining. Before you start figuring out how many pounds of meat you need and dusting off your roasting pan, consider this: a spring meal, even one with a guest list and cloth napkins, does not need a big juicy main dish. You know, the thing that sits in the middle of the table while everyone focuses on the yummy, seasonal sides. Instead, focus on meals packed with stunning colors, flavors, and textures. They’re crowd-pleasers – and host-friendly, too.
Apps For One
What’s better than crudite? Personal crudite. We love the idea of turning an appetizer into a single-serving dish for guests – layer creamy hummus and olive oil with a mini smorgasbord of veggies, olives, and seeds (the brighter the better because, you know, Instagram). Halved hard-boiled eggs make these one-and-done meals extra hearty.
When is pasta a one-and-done meal? When it’s tossed in a sauce so smooth, healthy, and leafy green-packed it’s basically green juice. (Well, not exactly – no pesto cleanses just yet, but hey, here’s hoping). Shredded cheese packs extra protein, especially when everyone wants seconds.
Grain bowls: not just an excellent weeknight dinner, but a home-run for parties. Truly: Build a base of your grain of choice, then bring on the goods: buttery avocado, blanched asparagus, crunchy watermelon radishes, followed by almonds and an egg. It’s grazing, perfected. And leaves enough room for a true dessert indulgence.
Now listen. We’re not going for sacrilege here – if it’s Easter, by all means, go whole hog and make that honey-baked ham or lamb. Nor are we encouraging a Passover Seder calls without a juicy brisket. But for leisurely lunches, or dinners that take advantage of the extra hour of sunlight, go bold and skip the traditional main. No one will miss it when you serve up dishes this delicious. Especially when the drinks are flowing, and the presentation looks this good.