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Easy Entertaining: A Cold, Make-Ahead Dinner for a Hot Summer’s Night

During the summer, when the heat is at its peak, I like to keep my time in a hot kitchen to a minimum. But entertaining must go on, so I often take advantage of the cool hours of the morning to cook a quick-to-make dinner that needs time to chill. When guests arrive in the evening, I have a well thought-out menu ready to serve; all I have to do is pour the wine and chit-chat. The menu for this dinner is sophisticated in its flavors but casual in its preparation. It always works to balance a meal by pairing a plain dish with a more colorful one; they don’t have to all be over-the-top. The flavors of each dish complement each other, and it’s this overall balance that makes this particular menu excellent for a lovely summer dinner at home. As a first course, I’m serving carrot gazpacho. Made …

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