For me, a 4th of July menu elicits thoughts of a charcoal grill set up on Olivo’s Beach in Narragansett early in the morning. Lighter fluid would hit the charcoal briquettes and set alight from day to night. I still love that smell.

As far back as I can remember, my family would spend a week in a small, rented cottage in Narragansett during the first week of July, right next door to my dad’s sister and her family. Of course, what I remember most was the food, and if you think that it mostly involved the usual 4th of July fare, you would be wrong.

As soon as that grill was lit, on went a big pot filled with sauce, meatballs, and sausage. It simmered all morning, and by noon there was a pot of boiling water ready for spaghetti.  We were ready too. The picnic table was set with a tablecloth and my aunt’s dishes, brought from her home in Providence. No paper plates for us!

After lunch, we kids hit the beach again while our parents started to prepare dinner. I remember my aunt and uncle going back to the cottage with all the dirty dishes piled in a box so that they could clean them and bring them back for dinner.

Dinner was an amazing array of shellfish. Stuffies, steamers, littlenecks, and crabs. No “kid food” served here. We stayed at the beach until just after sundown every evening. Those were amazing times, fond memories.

Times have changed, and although we don’t rent a cottage on the beach, we enjoy time with family and friends here at KampKaren overlooking the Sakonnet.

So, if you are interested in more of a sophisticated menu for your 4th of July here is my suggestion. Click the menu items for the full recipes.

4th of July Menu

Grilled Veal Rib Chop with Shiitake Mushrooms

Haricot Verts with Wild Wonders Tomatoes

If you’d like a colorful, healthy salad to serve with your veal chops why not try this quick and easy one?

Panna Cotta

This quick and easy recipe for pannacotta is perfect, make ahead dessert. You can do this 24 hours in advance.

Enjoy the holiday!

Karen Sagaspe is a Rhode Island native who enjoys food, wine, entertaining and travel. Cooking for friends and family is one of her favorite things to do. She has traveled extensively, lived in Florida, Paris, France and Cape Town, South Africa. When she isn’t in the kitchen, Karen is probably reading a book surrounded by her two Shih Tzu.

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