High Summer is here and we have our final Summer weekend getaways on the brain. Whether you're having house guests for a long weekend, or are a guest yourself, it's important to make sure your etiquette is on point. When entertaining friends myself, or when staying at a close friend's home, I love to offer to cook lunch one day for the party.
Inspired by some of my favorite iconic salads (The McCarthy Salad at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Gotham Salad at Bergdorf Goodman, The Women's Exchange Salad in my home town Saint Louis....) I prepared this for the first time a few years ago when staying at a friend's home. It's ideal for a day lounging by the pool, and everyone can pick and choose whatever they prefer. Offering a bounty of ingredients, buffet style, is the wow factor here. Be sure to take advantage of the local produce wherever you may be, and choose whatever mix of purchased and easily prepared ingredients below you prefer. Enjoy the weekend! 
PS - if you are the hostess, this is a great chance to show off a special set of china. 
  • Baby Kale, washed and torn Romaine, or Little Gem lettuces
  • Rotisserie chicken, carved into 8-10 pieces
  • Large Poached Shrimp, peeled
  • Hardboiled Eggs, quartered lengthwise
  • Avocado, halved, sliced and fanned, or medium chopped
  • Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • Good quality Gorgonzola Dolce cheese, crumbled
  • Thick cut Applewood Smoked Bacon, cooked and chopped
  • Thinly Sliced Radish (watermelon radishes are beautiful if available)
  • Fresh Corn, husked (raw, sauteed or grilled)
  • Candied Pecans or Walnuts 
  • A selection of Dressings; Buttermilk Dressing and Lemon Vinaigrette

Buttermilk Dressing: 

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt,
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend. Can be made a few days in advance. 

Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (1 large, juicy lemon, but buy two to be safe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil.

Serve the greens in a large shallow bowl, and arrange all ingredients in their own serving bowls. Let guests pick and choose and enjoy the day!