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A Fresh and Festive 4th of July Menu

Light up the grill this Independence Day for a summertime feast that will keep your friends and family coming back for seconds. Stick to the basics of any warm weather gathering: meaty kebabs, salads that feature fresh farmers' market produce, and a chilly dessert with fresh summertime berries. Once you've gotten your grub on all day long, sit back, relax, and enjoy the fireworks.

Not only is the Fourth of July a great day to celebrate the birth of our country, but it's the perfect mid-summer event for hearty dishes off the grill, fresh produce, and sweet, icy desserts. Here are our picks for the dishes you don't want to miss out on at your Independence Day party.

Get the recipe: Steak and Avocado Kebabs

Skip the guacamole this year, and get your avocado by sliding it onto your steak kebabs. If you want to vary the kebabs, go ahead and throw some cubed chicken on the skewers.

Photo: Randy Mayor

Get the recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

There's no time like the summer to transform a handful of fresh basil leaves into pesto. Toss it over your favorite pasta shape with sweet tomatoes and creamy mozzarella for a Caprese-style salad.

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Get the recipe: Charred Squash Salad

While you've got the grill going, you might as well throw on slices of summer squash and zucchini. Sprinkle on your favorite cheese you might have lying around if you want to jazz it up.

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Get the recipe: Tomato Salad with Herbed Ricotta and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Everyone needs a simple heirloom tomato salad to impress guests and to add a seasonal component to any summer party.

Photo: Erin Kunkel

Get the recipe: Lattice-Topped Blackberry Cobbler

A 4th of July celebration is not complete without cobbler. Have extra summer berries lying around? Throw those in, too! It doesn't have to just be a blackberry cobbler.

Photo: Romulo Yanes
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