This light luncheon menu was created for one of our community members who is planning a bridal shower for her daughter. As the guests will most likely be women, and the bride will be gearing up for the big day, this luncheon menu features light dishes that are relatively kind to the waistline. The benefit to the hostess is that many of these luncheon recipes are simple, easy to prepare, yet fool-proof and delicious. More importantly, they also can be prepared the night before and can be doubled or tripled depending upon how many guests are expected.
As with most events, it is nice to offer the choice of a glass of wine or a non-alcoholic beverage, such as iced tea with mint or lemon, as guests arrive. A nice festive touch is serving iced tea in wine glasses as well. For an introduction to the luncheon at this time, it's also nice to serve cheese and a basket of fresh vegetables. To save time, use vegetables that require little or no cutting, like cherry tomatoes, baby carrots and asparagus.
If a large group is expected at the bridal shower, I would suggest serving this meal as a buffet. Make sure there is seating available either inside or out in the garden if it is a nice day.
The best time to open gifts is after the buffet meal and as the guests are enjoying tea or coffee and slices of fruit tart or cake from your local bakery.
- Wheel of Brie stuffed with Peach Preserves
- Crudite Basket with Dip
- Wild Rice Salad with Fresh Strawberries
- Green Bean Salad with jicama
- Salmon with Basil Cream
An easy and delicious appetizer to serve while guests arrive and cocktails are served. Serve with sliced French bread or gingersnaps.
- 1 kilogram (approximately 2.2 pounds) wheel of Brie
- 1 10-oz jar unsweetened peach puree (Sorrell Ridge makes an excellent peach puree that is found at most grocery stores)
Slice the wheel of Brie in half sideways with a large knife and spread a thin layer of peach puree on the bottom half. Replace the top layer of Brie and present on a large round decorative platter with the slices of French bread or ginger snaps spread out in a circle around the cheese. Clusters of red or green grapes make a nice decorative touch and compliment the cheese as well.
Wild Rice Salad with Fresh Strawberries
This is an elegant and innovative salad. To save time, prepare the rice the night before and add the strawberries and dressing right before serving in a decorative bowl. Fresh raspberries may be substituted if strawberries are unavailable.
- 3 cups water
- 11/2 cups wild rice
- 1/3 cup chopped scallions (approximately 3)
- 1 lb. strawberries-quartered and then sliced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
In a medium-large saucepan, boil water over a high heat. Once boiling add wild rice to the water and return to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 50 minutes or until water is absorbed. Allow rice to cool and add oil, orange juice, vinegar, scallions and strawberries. Toss and serve promptly.
Green Bean Salad
A refreshing green bean summer salad.
- 2 lbs. green beans, blanched
- 1 large jicama, peeled and cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons Dijon style mustard
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2/3 cup chopped dill
To blanch the beans, place in a large saucepan with enough water to cover and boil until cooked but still crisp. Drain them in a colander and pour cold water over them to stop them from becoming overcooked. Drain thoroughly and toss with jicama, chopped dill and the vinaigrette dressing. Prepare the dressing by blending the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and mustard together.
Time Saving Tip: The green beans may be cooked the night before and stored in airtight sealed plastic bag. Cut the jicama and prepare the vinaigrette dressing the morning of the lunch. Toss ingredients together right before serving in a decorative bowl.
Salmon with Basil Cream
Prepare this salmon and basil cream the night before and treat your guests to a delicious chilled main course.
- 2 - 2 1/2 pounds of salmon filet
- 2 cups basil leaves, chopped
- 1 cup creme fraiche
- 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons capers
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With oil, lightly coat a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap the salmon. Place salmon in the middle, wrap it, being sure to seal the edges of the foil, and place in the middle of a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Store cooked salmon in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
To prepare Basil Cream: In a cuisinart or by hand, combine basil, creme fraiche, mayonnaise and capers together until blended. Serve in a bowl for guests to spoon over the chilled salmon.
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