Southern-Style Summer Menu

Enjoy a nice, light summer dinner from the South.

It's Good, Y'all
Photo: Squire Fox

It's Good, Y'all

Southerners may find that the current vogue for Southern cooking in New York City and elsewhere brings to mind that Barbara Mandrell song from the '80s, "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool."

But this attention is real and deserved: Regional heritage, flavors, and ingredients are all being celebrated in the passion for country ham, grits, fried chicken, and chowchow.

Cooking Light's Test Kitchen and editorial offices are in the heart of the South, down in Birmingham, Alabama, where agrarian roots run as deep as any. We wanted this menu to reflect the exciting culinary developments of the new South, characterized by reverence for the past and spiked with lots of inventive ideas. We wanted a menu perfect for cooks with overactive vegetable gardens and healthy mind-sets. The recipes abide by Southern kitchen principles: Keep it simple, get creative in combining native Southern ingredients, and find some use for all that fragrant garden mint that will take over everything if given half a chance.

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