Scott Peacock's Ultimate Porch Supper

This Southern chef's simple menu lets you make the most of a summer afternoon with friends and family.

Summer cooking should be relaxed and effortless -- just like these fresh, flavorful recipes. Every dish here will make your get-together a hit, from garden-fresh tomatoes tossed with onions and herbs to shrimp with smoky sausage and earthy corn and potatoes. Browse the following slides for Scott Peacock's top ideas.

Blackberry Sangria

This bright sangria, sweetened with a summer-ripe blackberry syrup, will inspire guests to linger for one more glass. Sprigs of fresh basil make a beautiful garnish.

Tomato and Red Onion Salad

Here, fresh heirloom tomatoes and onions get dressed up with a sweet-sour vinegar dressing. Make this side dish ahead or while your guests sip sangria -- prep takes 25 minutes.

Butter Lettuce Salad

This fresh salad of crisp lettuce, cucumber, green beans, and chives tosses together in minutes. Velvety creme faiche adds a delicate tang to the homemade dressing.

Shrimp and Sausage Boil

A one-pot wonder, this spicy main dish combines fresh seafood with earthy corn and potatoes; sausage adds a hint of smoke. Serve it with garlic mayo and cocktail sauce.

Garlic-Herbed Bread

Here, the classic garlic bread you grew up with is updated with fresh garlic, parsley, and kosher salt. Look for a plump baguette that's soft and easy to pull apart.

Eggplant Relish

Raisins and chile peppers offer an interesting contrast between sweet and heat in this simple side dish. For best results, roast the eggplant whole -- it keeps it from getting too dry while bringing out its sweetness.

Lemon Ice Cream with Blueberry Sauce

Cap the afternoon with a bowl of this homemade ice cream. Have it ready to go before your guests arrive, or make it on the porch and let your guests take a turn on the crank.

Cornmeal Sandies

Tender and crisp, these cookies will become one of your summer favorites -- and they're great for dipping in melting ice cream.

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