Al Fresco Dinner Party Series: Sides Worthy of Your Patio Party

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    In the Al Fresco Dinner Party Series, we’re sharing tips to help you enjoy your outdoor living space. In this installment, we will share some simple but sophisticated recipes that can bolster your patio party host status. They are side-dish recipes that have a great presentation but won’t take ages to arrange. After all, you want to enjoy your outdoor living area with your friends and family and share meals that are worthy of your beautiful, elegant space in Kansas City.

    Grilled Honey Glazed Pineapple

    Those who enjoy their outdoor kitchen are always looking for new foods to try out on the grill. Our version of this grilled side dish is versatile. You can have it by itself or pair it with sponge cake and ice cream for your dessert. Plus, you leave the stem of the pineapple on for this dish, so it’s quite a striking presentation. If you’re having a tropical-themed party, it’s a must.


    • 1 pineapple
    • 1 cup honey
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp nutmeg


    1. Peel the skin off the pineapple. Leave the leaves attached.
    2. Mix your sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a large bowl and coat the pineapple with the mixture.
    3. Drizzle honey onto the pineapple. Don’t brush it on, or the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar will come off.
    4. Preheat the grill to 450°F. Grill pineapple for 30 minutes, rotating occasionally.

    When you serve this, you will want to have a fork and knife on hand to cut away slices. If you prefer, you can core and slice the pineapple before grilling; that method makes for more surface area for the spices and honey to infuse so you may need more of both. Plus, it doesn’t look quite as impressive as keeping the leaves on, but it is easier to eat.

    Strawberry Cucumber Salad

    Few people think to pair strawberries with cucumbers, but you’ll find that this interesting combination looks and tastes great. Even better, this recipe from the Food Charlatan is only four ingredients and takes almost no time to pull together.


    • 2 medium cucumbers
    • 3 cups strawberries
    • ¼ cup white vinegar
    • ½ cup honey


    1. Wash the fruit and slice them. You can peel the cucumbers to make them softer, but you lose some of that dramatic green and red contrast. Whichever you choose, slice the strawberries and cucumbers for equal thickness.
    2. Lay the fruit out in a bowl in a fan shape, alternating between cucumber and strawberry.
    3. Mix vinegar and honey, then drizzle on the salad. Serve immediately.

    If you wish, you can make a pinwheel effect by peeling three or four long strips from each cucumber. Leave a section unpeeled between each strip, and the cucumber slices will have an alternating peel that looks even more dramatic against the strawberries. Plus, it retains a bit of crunch for those who enjoy texture.

    Peach Caprese Salad

    Some of the best aspects of your patio party come from taking familiar recipes and putting a new twist on them. This peach Caprese salad does just that. It’s tangy but packs a bit of sweetness from the peaches, which really sets it apart. You will certainly get requests for this recipe!


    • 4 peaches
    • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 cup fresh basil
    • 6 oz of real mozzarella, sliced
    • 3 oz prosciutto
    • Kosher salt
    • Olive oil
    • Pepper to taste


    1. Boil vinegar over low heat for about 15 minutes until it thickens to the consistency of maple syrup. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
    2. Cut the peaches into thick slices, trying to keep them whole as you remove them from the pit.
    3. Layer the peaches with prosciutto and mozzarella on your serving plate.
    4. Drizzle on the olive oil and vinegar. Place basil leaves. Sprinkle salt and pepper.

    We suggest serving this one on your best cheese board. While the dish is best kept a little cool, we don’t think it will last long enough to need to go back into your outdoor fridge!

    Wish you were creating these marvelous dishes at your own patio party? The outdoor kitchen of your dreams can be a reality. Plus, you can pair it with a lovely landscape that elevates your whole home. Contact High Prairie Outdoors to get started on your own outdoor living space today.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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