FOOD+DRINK SUMMER COCKTAIL PARTY cont. What to eat: Of course, the most obvious choice here is to have a barbecue and that’s exactly what you should do to provide the foundations of your summer spread – forget boring bangers and burgers though and opt for chicken breasts, prawn skewers, minute steaks and salmon fillets instead. Make sure you marinade them too. For the fish and chicken go for a Caribbean-style marinade using (per four portions) 3tbsp lime juice, 2tbsp olive oil, 3tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, 2tsp finely chopped rosemary, one large red chilli, finely chopped, and four thinly sliced spring onions; and, for any red meat try a Korean-style marinade made with (per four steaks) 3tbsp sugar, 6tbsp soy sauce, 2tbsp vegetable oil, 2tbsp toasted sesame oil, 1tbsp peeled, grated ginger, three grated garlic cloves and one finely chopped shallot. Often, the very best thing about barbecued food is all of the accompaniments you can easily prepare to compliment them. Make sure you have plenty of dips and crudité set out for your guests to pick at throughout the party – stirring some roasted cherry tomatoes and red peppers into guacamole produces a lighter version that cuts through some of the rich avocado with a hint of sweetness and tang; and anchoïade is a really bold, gutsy dip made using anchovy fillets, garlic, onion, tomato and herbs that works with crudité and with slices of crusty baguette too. Bite-sized finger food is always well appreciated by milling partygoers, but that doesn’t have to mean straight-out-of-the-seventies vol-au- vents are your go-to solution. Blinis are the new vol-au-vents and can be piled high with beetroot and quail’s egg; smoked salmon and crème fraiche; and artichoke and lemon dip. Potato salad and salsa verde (recipe below) is a crowd pleaser that will go with all of your barbecued meats and fish; and, in my greedy opinion, no party is complete without a cheese board groaning under the weight of a huge Brie. You’ll think you’re full, but a few cocktails down the line as day turns into night, somehow you’ll always find room for cheese. Salsa Verde 94 Salsa Verde (makes 1 jar) INGREDIENTS: • 1 small shallot, finely chopped • 2tbsp red wine vinegar • 8 anchovies • 30g flat-leaf parsley • 30g basil • 10g mint • 4tbsp capers, rinsed and roughly chopped • 120ml extra virgin olive oil (more if you like) METHOD: 1. Soak the shallot in a bowl with the vinegar for 45 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, mash the anchovies in a pestle and mortar, then gradually add the herbs and capers to form a coarse paste. 3. Stir in the shallot with half of the soaking vinegar, then slowly whisk in the oil until you reach your desired consistency. Add vinegar and salt to taste.