(Jamie Broyles in the Ronnie Crop Mexican Top and her sweet pup, Lizard).  Photo by: Jeff Forney

There’s so many things we love about summer but top of the list is definitely outdoor dining with friends and family (cue fireworks). To get in the spirit of weekends and backyard fiestas, we asked interior designer, bouquet maker and general queen-of-the-outdoor-shindig, Jamie Broyles, for her foolproof recipes and tips on how to host a party with minimal effort.

“Two of my all-time favorite flowers are peonies and garden roses but since we’re in California I also love to use succulents and native greens too.”


“Air plants are always a winner for me and people can take them home at the end of the night.”

“I love having people over for dinner. It’s such a great way to feel connected and the main reason I asked my husband to build us a 12-foot outdoor dining table,” says Jamie, who owns, Jamie B Interiors in Los Angeles. With a weekend retreat in Joshua Tree, she keeps the decor and menu as next-to-natural as possible. “I get my produce at the Hollywood Farmers Market on Sunday, Harmony Farms butcher for any grass-fed, free range organic meats, flowers from the wholesale flower market in downtown, as well as flowers and herbs from my own garden,” she says.

“I always make a lot of food so people are usually never shy about helping themselves to seconds. I like my dinner parties to feel like you're home.”

Here she shares some inspiration and recipes for pulling off a festive gathering. We’ll be right over.

Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad
“The original recipe also had prosciutto but I like it better without.”

  •       2 medium peaches, sliced
  •       8 oz burrata
  •       1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  •       1 1/2 tsp honey
  •       Fresh Mint
  •       Fresh Basil

Instructions

  •   Grease a grill pan (or a grill) well.
  •   Lay out the sliced peaches.
  •   Grill the peaches over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes on each side (or until they have golden sear marks).
  •   Remove from the grill.
  •   In the meantime, mix the honey and balsamic together in a small bowl.
  •  Put your burrata on a platter, and place the peaches around the burrata.
  •  Drizzle the balsamic mixture over the peaches and burrata.
  •  Sprinkle with chopped basil and mint
  •  Serve and enjoy!

 

Roasted Carrot and Wheat Berry Salad With Dill

“This is from my all-time favorite chef, Nancy Silverton.”

I call for wheat berries here, but you could use any chewy grain, such as farro, barley, rye berries, freekeh or spelt. Use long, slender carrots, such as those you find at farmers’ markets or those sold with the tops on at supermarkets. I spoon half of the grains onto the bottom of the platter and toss the other half with the carrots. It looks prettier this way, and I like the idea of people digging in for more.

Serves 6 to 8

  • tablespoons kosher salt
  • cup wheat berries (or farro, barley, rye berries, freekeh, or spelt), soaked overnight and drained
  • tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • pounds slender carrots (3 to 4 bunches; weighed with tops)
  • 10 to 12 medium or large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 10 fresh thyme sprigs
  • cup fresh dill sprigs, chopped, plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • Finishing-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • Maldon sea salt (or another flaky sea salt such as fleur de sel)

Bring 1 quart water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt and the wheat berries and return the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the wheat berries are al dente, 30 to 50 minutes. (Cooking time varies greatly, depending on the freshness of the grains.) Drain the wheat berries in a colander and transfer them to a small bowl. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and toss gently to coat the grains. Set aside to cool to room temperature.