Simple Summer Dinner: Tartines and Rosé Frozé

The best kind of summer days are often the most spontaneous ones: swim dates where the afternoon just rolls into evening. Everyone’s splashing in the pool and then somehow ends up gathering at the table over dinner, still wet their suits. The spontaneous dinner, however, does usually require a market run—and an action plan is important if you don’t want to step away for too long.

Here are some ideas for hosting an impromptu backyard dinner of toasts (tartines, if we’re being fancy), along with a recipe for this summer’s most fun cocktail, Rosé Frozé, in partnership with our local grocer, Nugget Markets.

We’re incredibly lucky to have a great grocery store—Nugget Markets—around the corner. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was factored in as a pro when we considered moving back to Davis. The family-owned and operated company has been around since 1926, and I remember when our location opened while I was in college! Their on-site bakeries and chef-prepared deli sections are filled with beautiful, delicious, fresh selections and their house Fresh to Market label focuses on products developed in partnership with local producers, so it really feels unique to the region.

That said, while their stores are currently only to be found in Sacramento Valley and in Marin County, their focus on the local and seasonal is an ethos one can seek out anywhere.

Find the market near you with the most in-season deli section, pick up some fresh-made breads and some soft cheeses and you can put out a make-your-own toast bar in no time. There are few better (or simpler) ways to enjoy fresh, summer-time salads.

I couldn’t resist getting a wide selection of breads, though the Nugget Markets Ciabatta might be my favorite of all-time. For toasts, you generally want the topping to dictate the base: chewy slabs of sourdough  (like that beautiful round) work best for hearty toppings, thin slices of baguette might be better suited to more delicate flavors (or sweets). Dense, grainy breads are the preferred base for anything more robust—like smoked salmon. You can slice them up at home or, usually, you can ask your bakery to do it for you.

As for the toppings, the prepared food section is the simplest way to shortcut: I picked up pints of caprese salad, charred corn and chimichurri shrimp, dino kale and citrus farro with dried cranberries, broccolini and grilled radicchio, long beans and mushrooms, and arugula with peaches and crisp prosciutto—basically, whatever caught my eye. Go with your gut or ask somebody at the market for advice.

To serve, you just need to unpack and set out with serving spoons. One tip: give a finer chop to anything that might have trouble staying in place on top of sliced bread or be tough to eat without a knife. For example, I sliced up round tomatoes, any too-thick broccolini stems, and the long beans.

For base spreads, add fat: creamy yogurt, thick ricotta or goat cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, or (of course) avocado would all work well with many toppings.

A pinch of sea salt and that’s it!

Rosé Frozé

Nugget Markets developed this version of the on-trend adult slushy and put it on a recipe card near the checkout counter. We knew we had to try it immediately, and it’s so good!

1 bottle of rosé, 750mL
13 ounces strawberry puree (blend about 20 strawberries in blender to make)
13 ounces Peach Bellini
9 ounces peach schnapps

Combine all ingredients in a large zip top bag (or two if necessary). Freeze bag for about 8 hours, or until slushy consistency.

Pour into white wine glass, stir and serve.

(Note: Fresh strawberries are best, but if you’re running out to grab ingredients at the last minute, you could use frozen ones to save on time. Blended with the other ingredients, they’re like a stand-in for ice.)

Dinner is served. Swimming can resume!

P.S. How to assemble the perfect cheese board.

This post is sponsored by Nugget Markets, our local, family-owned grocery. Founded in 1926, Nugget Markets has been committed to providing an extensive selection of quality products, exceptional service and lower prices than any other conventional grocery store. For 12 consecutive years, Nugget Markets has claimed a spot on Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. I’m honored to partner with them! 

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