Southern-Style Dinner Party Recipes

Spring is here! Why not pick a free weekend on your calendar and invite friends to your home patio (or a nearby picnic spot) for an outdoor dinner party? Warmer temps have arrived, and it is a good time of the year to eat as many meals outside as possible. The season’s most colorful bounty provides endless options for a tabletop dining inspired by nature.

Southern entertaining is all about easy sophistication. Breezy linens, colorful flowers, and big platters of seasonal food set the stage for a memorable meal. In keeping with the graciousness that defines a Southern host, I try to think about what details will make my guests feel comfortable, taken care of and well-fed.

For a casual weekend dinner party, I always serve food family-style. There’s nothing like having guests pass around abundant platters of food to get them mingling and enjoy friendship with dinner.

Roasted Wild Salmon with Citrus, Chiles and Herbs


1 2-lb. skinless salmon fillet, bones removed
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 blood oranges, divided
2 Meyer lemons (or regular lemons), divided
1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 bunch fresh dill


Preheat the oven to 350 ̊. Place the salmon on a foil-lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then top with zest and juice from 1 orange and 1 lemon. Scatter the chile slices over the salmon and season with salt and pepper. Roast until salmon is just cooked through, about 22 minutes.

Carefully transfer the salmon to a serving platter, pouring any remaining oil from the roasting pan over the top of the salmon. Thinly slice the remaining orange and lemon, and scatter over and around the salmon, then garnish with dill sprigs. Serve!