Simple Suppers on the Patio

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Three Simple Suppers

Simple suppers are essential in the summer. Charleston is one of the food capitals of the world, but it’s so hot in July and August that many of us lose interest in hearty Southern cooking (if you can believe it). Instead, we start looking for meals that require as little time in the kitchen as possible. Especially if it means we can spend more time in the bed swing. Truth be told, at the peak of summer, some of my favourite meals of the year are taken on the porch with the ceiling fan cranked up and the cicadas serenading in the oaks. If there’s a storm rolling in, it’s even better. Here are three simple meals that are in our weekly summer menu rotation:

Two Farms Bruschetta

When nearby Ambrose Farm announces that their heirloom tomatoes are ready, we swoop in and buy more than is decent, along with a bulb of fresh garlic. Then we get a loaf of Italian bread from our local bakery, Normandy Farms, and spend the rest of the day looking forward to dinner. Slice the bread and toast it under the broiler or on the grill, then rub the hot bread with a peeled garlic clove. Don’t be stingy with the garlic. Top with chopped tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Plan on splitting a loaf of bread between two people. It’s that good.

Whatever-You’ve-Got Summer Salad

Chop raw green beans, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh sweet corn, avocado and basil and toss with whatever lettuce is coming up in your garden. (Arugula is great, but anything will do.) Make a simple vinaigrette with olive oil and white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar, black pepper, oregano and lemon juice. For a real treat, add diced mango or add mango juice to the vinaigrette. This salad has so many amazing flavors and textures – it’s sweet, crunchy, tangy and peppery all at the same time. Don’t be afraid to add chilled local shrimp or cold smoked salmon. The perfect end to this meal is a loaf of homemade zucchini bread.

Cold Taco Bowls

While most tacos are served warm, we like to deconstruct them and serve them cold. The salt in the tortilla chips is especially good after a day at the beach or working in the shop. Dice heirloom tomatoes, avocado, jalapenos and red onion, then layer on top of cold brown rice and rinsed black beans. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and serve with tortilla chips and slices of lime. This is also great with chilled shrimp, especially if they’ve been blacked.

Do you have a favorite easy summer meal? Share it with your fellow bed swing aficionados on our Facebook page!

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