Dinner party ideas: a simple, fresh edible centerpiece from the garden

by on August 8, 2011

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Summer is my favorite season because it makes throwing dinner parties so easy. Step into a garden or farmer’s market, and you have all the inspiration (and ingredients) you’ll need to entertain guests outdoors in wine country style. One of my newest table decor ideas is the edible centerpiece–a simple, elegant design that doubles as a healthy, colorful first course. Our friends at Taste of Home magazine recommend it for Labor Day weekend parties.

Combining Chef Todd Knoll’s roots in Asian cooking and garden-fresh vegetables, the edible centerpiece incorporates Japanese bento boxes as a display feature. (Our favorite bento boxes, made by Kiwami, can be purchased for about $40 at Korin.com.) Communal bentos also make dining more interactive and conversational.

Because you won’t be laboring over the stove when guests arrive, you’ll have plenty of time to chat with your friends and family at the table. Fresh veggies, such as red peppers, endive, cauliflower, zucchini and baby carrots, can be served with extra virgin olive oil and zesty, simple dips, such as my own Greek Goddess Dip (recipe below).

Watch this video to learn how to create your own edible centerpiece. Tips for advance preparation and keeping vegetables fresh overnight are also included.

Greek Goddess Dip


  • 3/4 c. Plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 c. chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 tbsp. shredded (chiffonade) mint
  • 1 tbsp. chopped dill
  • 1/2 tsp. crumbled dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. drained chopped capers
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Drizzle of olive oil (as a garnish, just before serving)


  • Whisk together yogurt, sour cream, all herbs, lemon juice and capers in a bowl.
  • Season, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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  • Sakshi Malik217

     In a party everyone tries hard satify the guests by proper arrangement and decoration. So just have a look on Sydney Birthday Party . It will help you a lot by giving tricks on various topics like how to add sparkle to an event,how to make yourself very noticeable and unique in hundreds.

  • http://www.jordanwinery.com Lisa

    Thanks for your comment!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/TeleBrandsProducts Telebrands

    for the dinner party ideas. It is nice to have everything planned out ahead
    of time so you have more time to enjoy with your guests.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you! What did you cook for the Labor Day weekend?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing–the video is really fantastic and is a great inspiration for those of us who want to throw our own dinner party

  • Anonymous

    Hi Austin,
    So glad you enjoyed the video. I sent your note to Nitsa as well. Are there any other video topics you’d like to see us cover?