Casual Poolside Entertaining Essentials
Summer days are for poolside lounging and no fuss entertaining. To me, this means finger food, simple drinks, and games amiright?
I used my current favorite indian block print linen (from Marie Eiffel Home) and folded it to fit the coffee table. I used my Lindroth Design seagrass wrapped carafe as a vase for a simple but elegant bouquet of Lysiantha. I used a natural tray (Sarah Bartholomew for Pottery Barn - you can take the glass insert out if you're worried about breaking it) for my outdoor glassware. This way, the drinks can be portable and taken right by pool. My current acrylic glassware obsession is Juliska's Al Fresco collection. The pitcher and water goblets are definitely elevated outdoor entertaining basics, and they're affordable too. Last but definitely not least, Peeps Paper Products custom playing cards make for a pretty and fun poolside game of cards.
I used a simple white platter for the veggies and flower petal bowls for the dips. I like to serve healthy snacks when poolside because, bikini. A veggie platter is healthy, pretty, and easy to snack on while in and out of the pool. More details on my veggie platter below. Mint water in a large pitcher is refreshing on a hot day (and necessary because, copious amounts of rosé).
Pick vegetables in a variety of colors
Opt for tricolore or heirloom varieties when you can. My favorite staples are carrots, cherry tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, snap peas, bell peppers, and endive.
Arrange vegetables symmetrically
Think of the platter like a mirror - position 1/2 of your quantity of one vegetable on the platter and then the other half diagonally (or directly) across the platter. No need to be exact. This creates symmetry. Once you're done mirroring the vegetables across the platter, add in some of your lower quantity items (e.g. the tomatoes and endive above) to fill the gaps. Play around with placement until you feel content.
Provide at least three dip options
Hummus, yogurt dip, and cheese dip provide a good balance. The more variety the better, in my opinion. My go to dips:
1. Hummus (pictured above) - my favorite is the Perfect Pita hummus. Spoon the hummus into a small bowl and drag the back side of a spoon in a circular motion to create a reservoir. Drizzle olive oil (should fill the reservoir) and finish with paprika and cracked pepper.
2. Labneh with chives, cracked pepper, and olive oil (pictured above) - Labneh is a middle eastern cheese strained from yogurt (similar to Greek yogurt in consistency but creamier and less tangy, in my opinion). Spoon the labneh into a mixing bowl and add fresh minced chives, olive oil, course sea salt and cracked black pepper. After a taste test, spoon the mixture into your serving bowl. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh minced chives, salt & pepper.
3. Herbed Ricotta - I really like this recipe from Food & Wine. Herbed goat cheese is good as well.