A memorable summer dinner

This is how the perfect holiday feeling dinner with family or friends also succeeds at home. We dream of the sea, of Italy or Croatia – of sand under our feet, warmed stone paths, chirping crickets and a glass of ice-cold rosé in our hand – and mostly we dream of this when we are not (any longer) on holiday, but are sitting in the office at over 30 degrees and still have a few meetings ahead of us. Why not bring this unforgettable holiday feeling home for a balmy summer night and enjoy an unforgettable summer evening with friends or family? Even if the dinner at home is not accompanied by the gentle sound of the Adriatic Sea, the right menu will bring your home a little closer to the Mediterranean. The perfect occasion to unwind a little and enjoy the conversations with friends and family that go on deep into the night. Because all this can only ever happen on summer nights when you soak up every drop of warmth and closeness like a sponge. And we have the perfect menu for you today. Summery ingredients, simple preparation methods and incredibly brilliant flavour combinations make this summer dinner very special.
1st course | Grilled courgettes with yoghurt sauce and saffron butter
The best thing about a relaxed dinner with friends on a balmy summer evening is the relaxed chat with a cool drink in hand. This dish is easy to prepare and makes for a delicious and relaxed start to the evening. Ingredients: 30 g butter, ¼ tsp saffron threads, coarsely crushed, 4 small courgettes, stalk removed and halved lengthwise (600 g), 2½ tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp cornflour, 300 g Greek yoghurt, 2 cloves garlic, crushed, ½ tsp dried mint, ¾ tsp coriander seeds, toasted and coarsely crushed in a mortar, 1½ tbsp mint leaves, ½ lemon, salt and black pepper.
  1. Preheat the oven grill.
  2. Put the butter and saffron in a small saucepan. Melt over medium heat, then remove from the heat, set aside and leave to infuse.
  3. Place the courgettes on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Toss with 2 tbsp oil,. tsp. salt and 1 strong pinch of pepper. Grill for 15-20 minutes cut side up, until well browned and soft.
  4. In the last 10 minutes of cooking time for the sauce, mix the cornflour with 3 tbsp water in a large bowl until smooth, then add the yoghurt, garlic, dried mint, the remaining ½ tbsp oil and ½ tsp salt and whisk together. Pour the mixture into a large non-stick frying pan and heat over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir continuously until the sauce is warm and thickens slightly. Do not allow it to boil or it will curdle.
  5. Pour the warm yoghurt sauce into a bowl and arrange the courgettes on top, cut side up. Drizzle with the saffron butter, then sprinkle with coriander and mint leaves. Squeeze the lemon half over the top and serve the dish immediately.
2nd course | Vegetable pasta with prawns and herb gremolata
The light vegetable pasta also tastes good on hot summer days and conjures up a holiday feeling on the dinner table within minutes. The simple yet sophisticated dish will delight your guests from the first bite. Ingredients: For the herb gremolata: 6 stalks of parsley (plain), 4 stalks of dill, 2 organic lemons, and 4 tablespoons of chives.
For the vegetable pasta: 1 kg courgettes, 1/2 kg carrots, salt, 4 shallots, 2 chillies (red), 2 cloves garlic, 4 tbsp rapeseed oil, 1/2 kg prawns, 6 tbsp vodka, 1/3 l shellfish stock (or vegetable stock), 1/4 kg crème fraîche. Preparation:
  1. for the gremolata, pluck the parsley leaves and dill tips from the stems and chop them not too finely. Wash the lemon in hot water, pat dry and peel 3/4 of the peel off in short strips, preferably with a zester. Mix with the parsley, dill and chives.
  2. For the vegetable pasta, wash and clean the courgettes. Clean and peel the carrots. Cut the carrots and courgettes separately into spiral noodles with the wide blade of a spiral slicer. Shorten courgettes as desired with kitchen scissors. Mix the courgette noodles in a colander with 1/2 tsp salt and drain.
  3. Finely dice the shallots. Halve the chilli lengthways and remove the seeds. Finely chop the chilli and garlic.
  4. Bring 2 l of water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry the prawns, shallots, chillies and garlic for 3 minutes over high heat. Deglaze with ouzo. Add the stock and crème fraîche and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the carrot noodles to the prawns, and salt and cook for 2 minutes. Pour the boiling water over the courgette noodles. Drain the courgette noodles briefly and mix them with the carrot noodles. Sprinkle with the herb gremolata and serve.
3rd course | Peanut-Butter & Jelly-Eiscram Sandwich
The peanut butter & jelly sandwich is a real classic in the USA and always tastes good. For summer, the dreamy combination of sweet and salty components is perfect for a creamy, fruity ice cream dessert that can be made with just a few ingredients and without an ice cream maker. Ingredients: 250 g peanut butter, 50 g sugar, salt, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 400 ml cream, 200 ml milk, 300 g strawberry jam, roasted & salted peanuts as a topping, 1 pkg. biscuits or wafers.
  1. Mix the room-warm peanut butter, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and vanilla extract with the whisk of a hand mixer. Gradually add the cream and milk and mix with a dough scraper until homogeneous.
  2. Pour 2 ¼ of the mixture into a freezer-proof mould (e.g. a springform pan), smooth it out and freeze for 2 hours. Chill the remaining ice cream mixture. Spread a generous layer (approx. 3 tbsp) of strawberry jam over the frozen mixture and top with another quarter of the ice cream mixture. Freeze for a further 2 hours. Continue in this way until the ice cream mixture and jam have been used up. Finish with the jam layer.
  3. Remove the ice cream from the freezer about 20-30 minutes before serving and sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of peanuts. Serve as a sandwich between 2 biscuits or waffles.