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Prepare-ahead menu: a lazy lunch?


In this summery menu for 4-6 people, just about everything can be prepared ahead, and Chicken Salad with Tarragon and Grapes (which Delia describes as 'the perfect main course salad') takes just a few minutes to assemble. Serve the starter with plenty of crusty bread and add lashings of crème fraiche or cream to serve with the summer pudding and your guests will be in heaven!




Roasted Red Peppers Stuffed with Fennel

This delightful combination of flavours makes a very attractive first course. The dish needs lots of really good bread, as there's always a profusion of fragrant juices. If you want to make the peppers ahead of time, cover with foil after cooling, but don't refrigerate them as this spoils the fragrant flavour. 


Main course


Chicken Salad with Tarragon and Grapes

This is the perfect main course salad for lunch, with perhaps some rice salad to go with it.  


Pesto rice salad

This salad can be served warm as a first course and it's extremely good as an accompaniment to fish or chicken main course dishes. Served cold it makes a lovely addition to a selection of salads for a buffet.  



 Summer Pudding 

Maybe the reason why this pudding is such a favourite is because we only have these particular fruits for such a short time each year – anyway in our house it's become a sort of annual event.


Which wine? Here are our suggestions for the prepare-ahead menu 

Summer entertaining advice


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