Farm Fresh: Easy Backyard Entertaining

Serve up a festive alfresco party with a bumper crop of fresh ideas.

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Farm to Feast

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Summer is prime time for entertaining in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, where Robin and Michael Tesoro live with their daughter, Francesca, 8, and son, Nicholas, 6. The couple relishes any opportunity to invite friends over for a meal outside on the patio. "It's all very informal, both the food and the decor," says Robin. Simple dishes, like summer minestrone and a rustic vegetable tart, highlight local produce.


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Taste of the Season

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Robin set the table with an eclectic mix of both vintage and contemporary pieces and—in a salute to the season—an edible centerpiece of tomatoes in rainbow colors.


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At the Prep Table

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Francesca (right) and a friend spread Ooma Tesoro's marinara sauce on pizza dough before piling on slices of tomato, mozzarella and basil leaves.


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Summer Staple

Classic Pizza Margherita
Makes 6
Prep 15 m
Bake 14 m

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Table Details

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A homespun linen tablecloth and napkins in soft shades put the focus on the food. "I love unadorned modern white dishes and clean-lined silverware," says Robin, a freelance stylist. Everyone gets a tiny dish at each place setting to hold sea salt, which punches up natural flavors.


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Farm Fresh

Rustic Grilled Vegetable Tart
Makes 8
Prep 30 m
Grill 10 m
Bake 10 m
Bake 65 m
Cool 15 m

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Perfect Combo

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On the patio, a portable table with help-yourself drinks encourages predinner mingling. A metal milk crate corrals bottles and glassware. "Friends, good wine and conversation go together," says Michael.


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Sweet Endings

Blueberry-Thyme Pie
Makes 12
Prep 15 m
Bake 15 m
Bake 55 - 60 m

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