When the warm weather arrives, we inevitably start to entertain more. Friends pop over for a late afternoon cocktail (and end up staying right through dinner), weekends become a blur of countless last minute picnics in the park and it seems that everyone has a birthday that falls somewhere between June and September. Our advice? Be prepared. These five warm weather one-batch recipes are not only easy to prepare (some can even be made up in advance and popped in the freezer like our spinach and ricotta cannelloni), but they will all feed anyone who decides to pop over.
1. Cucumber, Radish & Dill Slaw
Coleslaw has gotten a bad rap. Too often thought of as slimy, soggy or drenched in fatty mayo-based dressings, most people steer clear of this traditional dish. But, we think coleslaw is making a comeback, and this bright and fresh cucumber, radish and dill slaw is going to prove it. The best thing about this recipe is that it can easily be doubled, tripled of even quadrupled, depending on how many guests you're expecting. So it can feed as many people (expected and unexpected) that end up showing up.
2. Super-Tasty Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni
We're not going to lie, this spinach and ricotta cannelloni takes a little leg work to make. But, we can promise you that the effort you put into making this seriously fresh and tasty pasta dish, will be well worth your while, and it will definitely feed a hungry crowd. Kind of like lasagna (but trust us, way better), this cannelloni is bursting with fresh and healthy ingredients like baby spinach, lemon zest and an awesome tomato basil sauce (yes, that you make). How it differs from that old-school cannelloni (that your grandma used to make), is that we've used fresh baby spinach leaves instead of that liquid-drenched box from the freezer section, we've replaced those awkward dried cannelloni tubes with convenient fresh lasagna noodles -- no pre-boiling required -- and we've topped it all off with ultra-indulgent buffalo mozzarella instead of the regular old grated variety. The result? A super-tasty, lively and fresh baked pasta dish that you'll want to make and eat again and again and again....
2. Rustic Panzanella Salad
When it comes to salad's, we like ours bright, fresh, vibrant and bursting with flavour. And, they don't always have to be chock-full of lettuce (which we think can be highly over-rated.) Thankfully we have come up with a recipe for a rustic panzanella salad that is satisfying all of our salad desires. Crusty toasted bread (that soaks up all the lemony vinaigrette,) fresh juicy cherry tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and pepper, silky buffalo mozzarella and fragrant basil leaves, all come together beautifully in this fast and fresh salad. Our tip? Let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving to let all the flavours mingle. Perfect served with some grilled fish or chicken.
3. Fuss-Free Pulled Pork
This fuss-free smokey and delicious pulled pork is the best when it comes to feeding a crowd. Simply put the pork in the slow cooker, combine the marinade ingredients and pour it over the pork. Cover and cook on low heat for about 8 hours. Then grab some buns, coleslaw and pickles and let your guests assemble the best darned pulled pork sammies they'll ever eat.
4. Greek-Yogurt Spiced Chocolate Chip Cake
This slab-style chocolate chip cake may look simple, but boy is it delicious. An absolute favourite of Editor-in-Chief, Lindsay's, this cake is made with Greek yogurt and has a hint of cinnamon to go with the chocolaty goodness. Sprinkling the chocolate chips over the top of the batter—rather than stirring them into the batter—allows the chocolate chips to sink down into the cake as it bakes, but, along with a sprinkling of sugar, helps to create a chocolaty crunchy top to this delightful cake. This cake is a hit with kids and will quickly become a go-to at any kid-friendly summer party you throw.