When I think of summer there is without a doubt a specific mood and tone attached. When I close my eyes, I can see it – a gradation of muted shades of pinks and blues, from both the skyline and the sea. The visual, whether in person or even in my mind’s eye, evokes a buoyancy while heightening my senses. I can smell the brine-riddled scent of the ocean mingled with fragrant herbs in my garden and finally the aroma of charcoal or wood burning from a blazing fire on a searing grill. These are the scents that conjures summer and in turn inspire a very specific flavor profile that my taste buds crave in summer.
When we are on the sea, we eat what is of the sea. And when we live on fertile land, we eat what is of the earth. Apart from the water, living so close to so many swoony Amagansett farms, local veggies are abundant, too. When seafood and veggies collide in a paella, you have a summer beach feast. And when friends gather on the beach, you have pure joy! Last year, together with my neighbor and fellow foodie Jodi Moreno of What’s Cooking Good Looking, we created this veggie paella and cava sangria in a breathtaking setting that visually expresses summer as it does in my mind, and perhaps all our minds. Now at the start of August, I feel the need to re-share this post.
We chose to grill at Louse Point, which somehow gets forgotten — it’s usually perfectly desolate with vast stretches of sand and still waters to take in at dusk. You can see why I opted for neutrals in the decor: the breathtaking sun reflects off the bay, casting an incredible pink hue over the sky. Oh, and can we discuss the single red boat mooring at bay? To say the setting was ideal would be the understatement of the summer!
I kept things light, bright and simple, letting the surroundings guide the palette and allowing the natural beauty of the vast, sweeping views to take center stage. A white tablecloth with sea-inspired blue stripes was haphazardly draped across the sand for our linens. Recycled pieces of old weathered wood provided a table-like surface to place food, wine, and utensils. A collection of shells scooped up directly from the shore acted as a trivet so we could place the smoking pan of seared prawns directly on our tablecloth.
There really is something magical about eating a meal as the sun sets—the spectacular lighting, the beauty and stillness of the horizon, the soft breeze as we savored each crazy-delish bite…feasting with friends on the beach is the epitome of summertime swooning!