There is something about eating outdoors that makes me feel instantly relaxed. Unless it is blazing hot, of course. That is slow torture. But when the weather is beautiful and the temperature is perfect, dining outdoors is really one of those simple luxuries in life. My mother-in-law, Kim, and I pulled together a beautiful afternoon meal at her home in the mountains this summer and I’ve been waiting for the right moment to share it with you. Being that we are celebrating Labor Day weekend and we’re all soaking up as much of these last official weeks of summer as we can, I think it is definitely time.
For the salad we found local tomatoes, squash, and herbs that we mixed with some seasonal store finds (carrots, radishes and greens). Topped that off with edible flowers from her garden for an extra pop of color and “voila” we had the most beautiful salad I have ever seen!
To complete our casual outdoor soiree, we needed all the accouterments. The dressing was a simple olive oil and balsamic pairing. We chose to add a sprig of rosemary to the olive oil for a touch of flavor. To go along with our local bread, Kim made a wonderful herb butter that is surprisingly easy to make! I’ll include the recipe for this in a follow up post because she has quite a few up her sleeve that add the perfect dash of sophistication to any meal. As a final touch we decided to put out some pickles just for the heck of it. Why not? There is something about pickles that never gets old and everyone loves; they could easily serve as a little something extra to munch on or a little something to pair with bread.
Now I want to go throw together a little picnic and run to my nearest park! How are you spending the next few weeks? I hope that this inspires you to get outside and enjoy time with your family and friends, soak up some sun, and share a meal with one another.