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Whether you choose a bohemian al fresco celebration or a stately ballroom affair, hosting a summer wedding is often synonymous with cloudless skies and balmy weather. While forgoing hefty outerwear and space heaters in favor of ethereal sundresses and an ocean breeze is enticing, summer brides must remember that one key ingredient of their nuptials requires special attention when the mercury rises: the menu. Some foods simply don't fare well in the blistering heat, so leave the cured salmon with creme fraiche for a winter's eve and reach for one of these six summer-proof wedding menu items that won't wilt in the heat.
1. Roasted Vegetable Antipasto
Anna Mandelbaum of the popular New York restaurant Frankies Spuntino insists that the ultimate heat-proof appetizer is a roasted vegetable antipasto. Lightly cooked vegetables won't be further wilted by the sun, and will provide wedding guests with a light pick-me-up.
2. Chilled Gazpacho
Instead of opting for rich, dairy-laden foods that may easily spoil, Lauren Wells of New York's Creative Edge Parties suggests revitalizing wedding guests with a chilled gazpacho. "We freeze our classic tomato, pepper, cucumber gazpacho to create a granita," Wells elaborates. "Place in a bowl, and top with chopped veggies and cilantro oil." The menu item can be created in large quantities, and will keep when placed on ice before serving.
3. Melting Flavored Ice Cubes
Instead of avoiding items that might melt, Wells advocates crafting dishes and drinks that are even more irresistible when thawed. "Make custom ice cubes out of juice, fresh herbs and a touch of simple syrup. As the ice melts into the glass, the drink retains its cold temperature. One of our current favorites is strawberry, hibiscus, mint ice cubes with gin," Wells advises.
As far as frozen treats go, popsicles are perhaps the most refreshing. If your venue has the proper freezer storage capacity, Wells recommends harkening back to your childhood with a more sophisticated rendering of the humble fudgesicle. "Our pastry department has developed a collection of gourmet fudgesicles," Wells reveals. "Think dark chocolate with pink Himalayan salt, caramel and almonds." And wedding attendees need not worry about creating a melted mess should the dessert begin to unfreeze. "As the fudge itself melts you are left with a rich, cool pudding," Wells states.
5. Cold Cuts Salad
Mandelbaum recommends crafting a salad with cold cuts or marinated meat to take the edge off of summer heat. Whether fashioned with seasoned ribeye or turkey breast, a simple salad infused with pre-prepared meat can withstand high temperatures without spoiling.
6. Cheese Course
A dairy-laden appetizer table may not be may not be your first inclination when creating a summer wedding menu, but hard cheeses and bread can withstand scorching temperatures without losing their molecular integrity. Create a mouthwatering spread with various loaves of fresh-baked bread and Parmesan, Manchego, or Pecorino cheese.