It’s still technically spring for the next few weeks, but we all know Memorial Day is summer’s unofficial kick-off, and as of this Friday, peeps are going to be beaching, barbecuing, stripping down and drinking up for the next three months. I, for one, am very much here for it.
My roommate and I are heading up to my happy place, aka Mount Desert Island, on Friday with some friends, and I’m itching with anticipation (of both the fun and the mosquito bites). It will still be on the chilly side—we’re talking about Maine here—but that doesn’t mean I won’t be taking full advantage of my access to a big girl grill, the late spring/early summer produce (strawberries! mango! greens! corn! cherries!), and the excuse to drink rosé at every meal. Can I get an AMEN?!
I’m down with burgers and hot dogs for summer, but I like to save the more traditional fare for Fourth of July fiestas and ease into the season with grilled meats and fish, veggie-heavy sides, and fruit-forward desserts and cocktails. Should you share my sentiments, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite Memorial Day Weekend recipes for your feasting pleasure below. I hope you love them as much as I do.
p.s. Dude Dieters: I included a list of holiday weekend-friendly fare from the book at the bottom of this post. You’ll be spending a lot of time shirtless soon, so consider this your friendly reminder to keep it tight.
Domesticate ME!’s Favorite Recipes for Memorial Day Weekend:
1. Curried Chicken Paillard with Mango and Cherry Tomato Relish. This super easy grilled chicken with fruity relish is light, bright, and perfect for sharing. FYI, the chicken can be served at room temperature which is always a plus when it comes to entertaining. Less time cooking = More QT with your guests. HALLELUJAH.
2. Marinated Skirt Steak with Sweet Corn and Cherry Salad. One of my favorite summer recipes of all time. Try it with warm tortillas if you know what’s up.
3. Grilled Chicken Skewers with Watermelon Salsa and Feta. Step up your skewer game, friends! These skewers are perfect with a giant salad, a few ears of grilled corn, and a side of warm pita. Do it.
4. Grilled Turkey Kofta Burgers with Harissa Yogurt Sauce. For those willing to take burger risks (you go, Glen Coco), these Middle Eastern t-burgers with spicy yogurt sauce are a rather thrilling taste treat.
5. Roasted Potato, Corn and Leek Chowder. In case it gets a little chilly this weekend (it’s not quite summer yet, peeps), I highly recommend whipping up a batch of this delicious and comforting chowder. The recipe is vegan as written, but feel free to add some crumbled bacon into the mix if you’re feeling wild/carnivorous.
6. Grilled Vegetable Salad with Farro. Think of this recipe as the little black dress of the summer side world. It goes with everything and will never let you down.
7. Roasted Potato Salad with Pancetta, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula. More than just a potato salad for the mayo-phobic, this showstopping side is bursting with flavors and textures. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, take my advice and #putaneggonit.
8. BLT Salad with Grilled Halloumi. If you don’t like slabs of melty cheese, get out. (Kidding! Sort of…) This salad is a great main or side for any and all warm weather soirées. You could also make grilled halloumi sandwiches on your favorite bread (put it on the grill too!) or a brioche bun using the salad as a topping. Just throwing that out there.
9. Roasted BBQ Cauliflower Salad. A big, badass rainbow salad is the easiest way to brighten up a table of your favorite BBQ staples.
10. Grilled Angel Food Cake with Whipped Mascarpone and Balsamic. Have you ever had grilled cake? If not, you best get on it ASAFP. You’re gonna lose your shit. xox, Crazy Cake Lady
11. Easy Eton Mess Sundaes. No barbecue is complete without ice cream, and these berry sundaes with crumbled meringues are always a crowd-pleaser.
12. Chocolate Chip Cookie Icebox Cake. This one sells itself. Moving on.
13. Watermelon-Basil Mezcal Margarita. Watermelon juice is full of electrolytes, which is handy, since you will likely want to chug this smoky sweet c-tail by the pitcher.
14. Bourbon Campari Punch. I call this Camparty Punch, and I like to serve it at any and all outdoor soirées. It’s basically a negroni with bourbon and smoky grilled oranges, and it will rock your world.
15. Roasted Strawberry Mojito. Strawberries are officially in season!!! Eat and drink them in any way you can. Personally, I like mine roasted, puréed and mixed with rum, but you do you.
Memorial Day recommendations from The Dude Diet:
Grilled mahi Mahi with Citrus-Jalapeño Salsa
Grilled Flank Steak with Avocado Salsa Verde (page 157)
Lamb and Feta Burgers with Mint Tahini Sauce (page 158)
Lemon-Herb Shrimp (page 165)
Grilled Vegetables with Goat Cheese and Balsamic (page 166)
Chipotle Street Corn (page 171)
Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad (page 230)
Avocado-Dijon Coleslaw (page 234)
Twisted Lemon-Mint Iced Tea (page 281)
Frozen Rosé Sangria (page 288)