Today I'm sharing my tried-and-true and super easy recipes for summer picnics and celebrations! These are some of my go-to sides for weekends, pool days, family gatherings, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and (of course!) the 4th of July. I love to whip them up and serve alongside a main course (especially Drew's BBQ!) and pick up a couple of easy drinks (think pink lemonade and fresh spritzers) for a complete meal.
To celebrate a new season of summer entertaining, I've also included some gorgeous tabletop inspo from my latest RP collection. This blue collection includes floral, gingham, and star prints for a perfectly mismatched palette. I especially love the melamine dishware; it's so convenient to set up on the patio, it won't break if you drop it, and it's super easy to clean!
Check out my 4th of July recipes and summer tablescape inspiration below. You can also shop all my RP home items in the links. (Order before June 23rd to get them before the 4th!)
Instructions for Festive Berry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
This 4th of July salad recipe is super easy; I just mix up the salad ingredients in whatever ratios I like best or ingredients I have the most of, then blend up the dressing! My secret to making the dressing perfectly emulsified: Combine everything except the oil first, then add the oil drop by drop as you blend with an electric mixer.
^^ Ingredients for Festive Berry Salad Recipe; Williams Sonoma Mixing Bowls
^^ Ingredients for Poppyseed Dressing; Williams Sonoma Mixing Bowls
Instructions for Watermelon Dip
Super simple: Just blend with an electric mixer and serve with watermelon spears! Cutting a watermelon into spears is really easy: Cut the watermelon in half, shave off the rind with a chef knife or serrated knife (be super careful with your fingers), cut even slices in one direction, and then slice crisscross in the other direction.
Instructions for Mexican Street Corn
This is another flexible and easy side for 4th of July, especially if you've already got your grill fired up. I don't measure the toppings exactly; I just eyeball from what I have and how much everyone wants!
First up, there are a couple of ways to prepare your corn:
- Peel your corn cobs completely, then boil in salted water. Brown with your oven broiler or straight on the grill.
- Peel back the husks on your corn, clean off the silk, and then replace the husks. Soak the whole cob in water for at least 30 minutes, then place directly on the grill.
- Place peeled corn directly on the grill to char.
However you decide to char the corn, be sure to let it cool before moving on to the next steps so the Greek yogurt doesn't melt off the cobs. Greek yogurt makes for a lighter option, but you can also use traditional mayo or sour cream. (So yummy!)
Once the corn cobs are cooled, remove any husks if you have them, then brush on the yogurt with a pastry brush. Roll in Cotija cheese, then sprinkle with cilantro, chili powder, and salt.
^^ Ingredients for Mexican Street Corn; Williams Sonoma Mixing Bowls
Instructions for Berry Ice Cubes
I love to make festive berry ice cubes for summer celebrations! All you do is add berries to an ice cube tray, fill with water, and freeze. They make drinks look so much more elevated and special.
^^ Fruit Ice for Drinks