Courtesy FamilyFeatures.com

Bringing your family together for a meal that tastes like summer is what the season is all about. If you’re spending an evening firing up the grill, flipping on the oven, forming a homemade salad or anything in-between, the time spent together enjoying warm weather flavors is what people across the Lowcountry crave.

Your next backyard meal can start with a flavor infusion from a tasty vinaigrette dressing that can be tossed with salads or added to proteins before cooking. Use premium ingredients and mix herbs, spices and fresh garlic into the dressing to deliver a delightfully bold and zesty flavor with every bite.

Take advantage of the dressing’s mouthwatering taste with Summer Shrimp and Squash Kebabs, an easy way to bring loved ones together both before and during the meal. While one person should heat the grill, the rest of the family can work together to marinate a concoction of shrimp, tomatoes, corn, red onion, squash and zucchini before threading onto skewers that are ready to hit the grates.

If hot weather means lighter fare is on the menu, a Mediterranean Orzo Salad can be ready in minutes. Just toss together a handful of tantalizing ingredients for a simple bite of summer that’s perfect as a meatless meal or al fresco side dish. Or you can turn it into a quick weeknight dinner by adding cooked chicken, shrimp or a protein of your choice.

Summer Shrimp and Squash Kebabs

Servings: 4 (2 skewers per serving) 

8 wooden skewers (12 inches each)
1 cup of a vinaigrette, such as Newman’s Own Garlic Vinaigrette & Marinade
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
16 cherry tomatoes
2 ears fresh corn, cut into 1-inch pieces 
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
2 yellow squash, sliced ½-inch thick
2 zucchini, sliced ½-inch thick 

Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

In large bowl, combine vinaigrette, shrimp, cherry tomatoes, corn, red onion, yellow squash and zucchini; marinate 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat the grill to medium heat. Skewer pieces of cherry tomato, shrimp, corn, zucchini, red onion and yellow squash on a wooden skewer. Repeat with remaining ingredients and skewers. Grill kebabs about 8 minutes, turning frequently until shrimp and veggies are cooked. Serve with additional vinaigrette.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Servings: 4

2 cups cooked orzo
2 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced 
¾ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
½ cup arugula 
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup pitted Kalamata and green olives, cut in half
¹⁄³ cup of a vinaigrette dressing

In a large bowl, combine orzo, cucumbers, tomatoes, chickpeas, arugula, olives and feta cheese. Toss with vinaigrette. Serve with additional vinaigrette, if desired. 

Family Features contributed to this story. Find more summer meal solutions at NewmansOwn.com.


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