Summer Lunch Idea
If you had a choice between hosting a breakfast/brunch, lunch or dinner, which would you choose? Depending on the pervasive cultural influences in the city where you live, I would infer that hosting a dinner would be the more popular choice of the three followed by breakfast. I was right. I took a quick poll on Facebook and I confirmed that dinner was the winner. Why does lunch loose out? If you think about it, there are many pluses to hosting a lunch.
For instance, the number of courses and time commitment to host a lunch is probably equal to breakfast and less than dinner. If people come to your house for dinner, there is an unwritten expectation that the meal will be their evening program. An evening activity could last up to six hours. Breakfast or lunch is max two or three hours. Second, contrary to popular belief, lunch menu options do in fact extend beyond the scope of sandwiches, soups and salads. The creative possibilities for lunch are endless.
No one would question your choice of serving eggs (frittata), a roast, Moroccan mezze, an Italian feast or fish for lunch; It’s lunch and there are fewer expectations attached. Eggs at dinner might be a bit awkward and overly-breakfast-esque unless you forewarned your friends and who would serve meat (beyond bacon) at breakfast unless you were a hotel buffet? For those of you in need of a post meal sugar fix, lunch brings its benefits in that category too. Any food blog or magazine will illustrate, dessert is something people look forward to eating. However, after a heavy meal like dinner, sometimes there is no room for dessert, meaning it goes uneaten or to waste. Lunch, on the other hand, is typically a smaller or lighter meal, leaving more room for dessert.
For Countlan’s summer lunch photo shoot, we headed to the farmers market to snag fresh veggies to use as ingredients in our vegetarian lunch. The lunch menu consisted of a quinoa tabbouleh salad with citrus dressing, mini vegetarian sandwiches done two ways, hummus and babaganoush as table condiments, a deconstructed nicoise salad served on a breadboard, ice tea with strawberries and mint served in the Riedel O wine glasses and a lemon poppy seed pound cake for dessert. We also purchased two pots of herbs from the farmers market and placed them in white porcelain containers to put on the table to enhance the “fresh” feeling.
To ensure the lunch vibe stayed casual and farm fresh, we used platters, plates and stands with natural materials such as wood, porcelain or glass. We served everything family style, indicating to guests to help themselves. This included putting out all the dishes, cutlery and glasses beforehand among our platters of food. To inject an element of fun, we used bright plastic napkin rings around green and white cloth napkins and as part of our own signature entertaining style, we added a few extra nibbles (chocolate covered sunflower seeds and spicy wasabi peas) in blue bowls to pop against the natural and wood colours on the table.