It's all about updated cookout classics served on a festive holiday table.
4th of july cookout table
Credit: Johnny Miller

No, it's not passé to serve summer standbys for your Fourth of July gathering. Simply give each dish a quick and easy upgrade: Nestle hot dogs in grilled baguettes instead of buns; perk up potato salad with peppery watercress and crisp bacon. Trust us, the results will be just as crowd-pleasing, especially if you bookend them with a round of refreshing cocktails and a simple fruit dessert.

To ensure the food at your gathering is memorable and crowd-pleasing, take a peek at the menu below. We're even sharing our secrets to setting an elegant Fourth of July table, so your holiday can be even more spectacular.

Credit: Johnny Miller

Cucumber Cape Codder

Cape Codder is a fancy name for a vodka-cranberry. Here, the Cucumber Cape Codder is made more refreshing with the addition of fresh lime juice and cucumber two ways. The vegetable is grated and turned into a syrup to sweeten the drink, as well as cut into wedges for the garnish. The best part? You can mix up a big batch in advance and store it in the fridge.

hot dogs
Credit: Johnny Miller

Grilled Hot Dogs with Sweet-Hot Relish

Cornichons, sweet onion, and Peppadew peppers make an irresistible spicy-sweet relish for flame-kissed hot dogs. Pile both onto grilled baguettes schmeared with our test kitchen's favorite condiment: DIY Dijonnaise (it's a combination of mustard and mayo).

potato salad
Credit: Johnny Miller

Potato Salad with Celery, Cress, and Bacon

In this lighter, mayo-less Potato Salad with Celery, Cress, and Bacon buttery fingerlings are tossed with white-wine vinegar and olive oil while still warm, allowing the bite-size spuds to absorb more flavor. The heat also slightly wilts the celery and watercress, but don't worry, the bacon stays perfectly crisp.

plum tart
Credit: Johnny Miller

Striped Plum Tart

Flaky puff pastry and toasted almonds form a delicious canvas for this ripe Striped Plum Tart. Alternate between black and red to create a striking striped pattern, then brush with apricot jam straight out of the oven until the fruit sparkles.

nautical table
Credit: Johnny Miller

Party Planner

For a holiday table that feels as modern as it does festive, work in maritime motifs, and concentrate on two main hues: red and white. In lieu of a tablecloth, paint a drop cloth from a hardware store and anchor it with rope. Paper boats stand-in for saltcellars, while beach rocks and seashells sub for bouquets (elements from nature bring life to any table!).

You'll also want to select a motif. Start by picking a graphic statement and carry it throughout the day. Here, stripes show up on napkins, drinking glasses, the tablecloth, and the serving platter.


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