Shishito and Shrimp Skewers with Chimichurri
Ridged shishito peppers are usually pleasantly bitter with mild to medium heat, but watch out: Every so often, you'll get one that packs a fiery punch.
Grilled Chicken with Fresh Grape Glaze
Grapes are probably the last thing you'd think of to put on grilled chicken, but combined with soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and rosemary, they really work well here. Their natural sugars caramelize during cooking, giving the finished dish the charred crust that makes grilled food great.
Red Snapper with Chunky Tomato-Watermelon Salsa
The salsa combines sweetness from watermelon; acid from tomatoes and lime; a bit of heat from the chile; and a pop of herbal freshness from cilantro and mint. It pairs particularly well with red snapper and would be lovely with most any mild white fish. To get the fish skin good and crisp, be sure to forgo a nonstick skillet in favor of a stainless-steel or cast-iron one; reach for a 12-inch skillet- (or larger) so the fish doesn't get overcrowded—or cook in 2 batches if using a smaller pan.
Brown-Sugar Grilled Salmon with Zucchini and Fennel "Noodles"
Playing up the contrast—acidic and sweet, crunchy and tender—creates an easy, refreshing entrée that's ready in just 25 minutes.
Vietnamese Pork Salad
Think of this impressive salad as a deconstructed version of a spring roll. Rice noodles cook in just 2 minutes; be sure to drain and rinse promptly with cold water so they don't overcook.
Yellow Squash Pasta with Caramelized Lemon
Look for lemons with thinner skins (smoother, shinier skins are often thinner); you'll get a nice citrus hit with each bite, but charring the slices softens the flavor so it's not overpowering. Serve right after tossing everything together, as the squash will start to wilt.
Watermelon and Arugula Chicken Salad
If watermelon wedges are a mainstay at your summer cookouts, try dicing for this instant, gorgeous salad. The sweetness of the fruit pairs beautifully with the smoky rotisserie chicken and fresh mint to create a summertime staple that will keep the family asking for seconds.
Pasta with Prosciutto, Cherry Tomatoes, and Asiago
This quick pasta toss is all about the play of textures: crispy bits of prosciutto, snappy squash, and blistered cherry tomatoes. Sauté the zucchini for just a minute—you want it to lose its raw bite but not brown. It will be perfectly crispy-tender when the pasta is done.
Red Wine-Marinated Steak with Balsamic Onions and Slaw
Cook this with either hanger or flank steak, whichever you prefer. The onions add a hit of umami, but feel free to omit them.
Flank Steak Panzanella Salad
This salad is even better at room temperature once the bread has absorbed some of the dressing. Swap the steak for chicken or shrimp, or omit for a side salad.
Spiced Chicken with Grilled Peach Salsa
Purple scallions have a mild, sweet taste and a beautiful deep color. Substitute green onions if you can't find their purple cousin.
Brothy and light, this is a perfect summer soup. A quick and easy pesto adorns each bowl for a burst of herbal freshness. In a pinch, you can use purchased pesto.
Pork Loin Medallions with Spicy Greens and Provolone
We've put a quick and lean spin on Philly's popular slow-roasted pork shoulder Italian hoagie by using tenderloin and turning the dish into a sort of warm salad. Serve with thinly sliced Italian bread, if desired.
Lemon-Herb Chicken Skewers with Blueberry-Balsamic Salsa
Blueberries are the standout ingredient for the sweet and sour sauce that accompanies these grilled kebabs. We used cilantro, basil, and parsley, but you can omit the cilantro. You can also serve this salsa on small toasts spread with creamy Camembert or tangy goat cheese.
Grilled Red Curry Chicken and Bell Peppers
We use a combination of peppers for different flavor notes—mini bell peppers for sweetness and Fresnos for moderate spice. Fresnos look like red jalapeños but are less spicy; use the latter if you want more heat.
Pan-Seared Lake Trout with Bacon and Cranberry Bean Succotash
Mottled pink cranberry beans lose their vibrant color once cooked, but no matter; their creamy texture and mild taste are the stars of the dish. You can substitute lima beans if you can't find cranberry beans. Just-picked corn is a must: Check for a fresh, moist stem.
Chicago Char Dog with Fresh Cucumber Relish
Classic Chicago dogs are served in poppy seed buns. If you can't find them, lightly brush buns with egg white and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Toast in the oven at 350° for 2 to 3 minutes.
Banh Mi Hot Dog
Pickled veggies, jalapeño, and cilantro top these Vietnamese-inspired dogs.
Mexican Hot Dog
Lime-marinated cabbage and sliced avocado give Mexican flair to this grilled frank.
Grilled Lamb Chops with Wheat Berry, Strawberry, and Lacinato Kale Salad
Lacinato kale, often called dinosaur kale because of its crinkled, bumpy texture, grows year-round in the Pacific Northwest. Massaging the leaves with your hands tenderizes them and tones down their bitter edge, which is a little more pronounced with summer harvests.
Cheesesteak Burgers with Pickled Peppers, Onions, and Cucumber
Quick pickles add tangy crunch to our fresh riff on the cheesesteak sandwich. Avoid overworking the meat when you mix and shape the patties; you run the risk of making them tough.
Mango Rice Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Asian influences are rather uncommon at the summer table, but with curry-marinated shrimp, coconut-tinged rice, crunchy vegetables, and distinctively flavored mango, this dish will change that, and fast.
Lobster isn't just for the white-tablecloth set. These classic New England sandwiches are decidedly down-to-earth, and affordable to boot―just one pound of lobster feeds eight. The unbeatable flavor of fresh dill is excellent, and the dressing is extra tangy (and lower in fat) thanks to the addition of Greek yogurt.
Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Most of us don't have the time or equipment to slow-smoke meats at home. Thankfully, this recipe captures all of the smoke and spice of barbecue in only 20 minutes on the grill. Slap on a sweet-spicy sauce and the requisite pickles and bun, and you're in for a treat.
Grill-Braised Clams and Chorizo in Tomato-Saffron Broth
Spanish flavors inspire this simple but intense summery braise. Saffron gives the tomato broth a nutty complexity, while the spice and heat of chorizo liven up the clams.
Orecchiette with Peas, Shrimp, and Buttermilk-Herb Dressing
This herby pasta salad is perfect for a picnic or potluck gathering; you can easily double the recipe to serve a crowd. Can't find orecchiette? Medium shell-shaped pasta will also work in its place.
Tequila-Glazed Grilled Chicken Thighs
If you would rather not use tequila, you can substitute 1/3 cup pineapple juice. Start the grilling over direct heat to get good grill marks and charred bits, and then move to indirect heat to gently finish the cooking.
Grilled Char with Yukon Golds and Tomato-Red Onion Relish
Sweet heirloom tomatoes are the crowning glory on this grilled meal. Soaking the onions in cool water removes some of their harsh bite.
Grilled Pizza with Prosciutto, Arugula, and Lemon
Grilled flatbreads are a delicious base for a light, summery salad. The dough develops a yeastier, more complex flavor from a 24-hour resting period in the refrigerator. You can also use store-bought dough and begin with step 3 in the directions.
A teriyaki-like sauce adds tons of flavor to chicken. Serve with rice or rice noodles and steamed baby bok choy.
Curry Chicken Wraps with Nectarine Chutney
Indian spices pair well with tangy nectarines but you can also use peaches, if you prefer.
Burgers with Blue Cheese Mayo and Sherry Vidalia Onions
A basic burger gets revamped thanks to a few choice ingredients that pack lots of flavor. Watch out, this will be the hit at your next barbecue.
Corn Bread Shortcake with Ham and Fresh Peach Salsa
This recipe elevates the down-home Southern flavor of corn bread and smoked ham into haute cuisine with a sweet-savory salsa. Impress your guests with an elegant plate presentation, but keep some extra salsa for yourself to eat with any kind of grilled meat, or, heck, plain old tortilla chips.
Cumin, Honey, and Mint-Marinated Lamb Chops
Among its myriad benefits, grilling yields superfast results: After marinating, these lamb chops need only about eight minutes and they're ready to eat. The mélange of ingredients in the marinade brings together sweet, sour, and spice for flavor you'll want to try over and over.
Fiery Flank Steak with Tomato Jam
In this recipe, we marinate flank steak with jalapeño peppers, then grill it and top with a jam made from tomatoes and even more jalapeños―a spicy-food lover's dream. If you've got a big crop of backyard tomatoes, make some extra jam to serve with cheese and crackers for a quick appetizer.
Arugula Salad with Chicken and Apricots
Pounding the chicken breasts flat ensures tenderness and cuts cooking time―a great combination―while fresh herbs add great taste. The finished salad has lots of flavors, too: bitter arugula, sweet and juicy apricot, pungent raw onion, and tart white-wine vinaigrette. This 10-minute recipe's perfect for a weekend lunch with guests.
Grilled Salmon with Roasted Corn Relish
Just about every ingredient here is a seasonal specialty, from the corn, tomato, and chile peppers to fresh cilantro and salmon (wild Pacific salmon is best in summer). Charring the chiles, corn, and salmon on the grill infuses everything with a light smoky flavor that brings the whole dish together.
Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing
This salad combines three very different kinds of sweetness―the pure sweet of corn, the savory, almost meaty sweet of tomatoes, and the clean, oceanic sweet of crabmeat. Top that with a tart vinaigrette dressing and you've got a refreshingly light salad that's still satisfying.
Grilled Chicken with Cucumber-Melon Salsa
A combination of green and orange melons is colorful and speaks to the beauty of summer. We left the seeds in the jalapeño for some heat, but you can discard them for a milder dish.
Grilled Halibut with Peach and Pepper Salsa
A fresh fruit salsa is a lovely accompaniment to grilled fish in the summer; try it also with striped bass or arctic char. Here, the season's juiciest peaches pair with fiery habanero pepper for a sweet-spicy flavor. Leave the peaches unpeeled for more color and texture.
Brined Pork Tenderloin with Plum and Jicama Relish
A quick brine keeps the pork moist and juicy, while the Plum and Jicama Relish provides sweet and spicy summer flavors.
Quick-Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti
Sweet, sun-ripened tomatoes collapse into a beautifully rustic sauce. For the prettiest dish, use multicolored tomatoes from the farmers' market or, if you're lucky, your backyard.
Grilled Flank Steak with Avocado and Two-Tomato Salsa
Fresh tarragon offers an unexpected but delightful flavor to the salsa. Serve as a simple entrée or as soft tacos with warmed corn tortillas.
Tandoori Grilled Chicken with Mint Raita
Barbecued chicken, a backyard summer favorite, marinates here in a heady Indian spice blend and tangy yogurt. A cool, herby raita complements it perfectly.
Cabernet-Balsamic Burgers with Sautéed Mushrooms & Onions
Grilled cheeseburgers get an irresistible upgrade with creamy blue cheese and caramelized onions spiked with jammy red wine and tart-sweet vinegar. A portion of the tender onions are mixed into the patties to help keep the lean beef moist.
Grilled Maine Lobster Tails with Miso Butter
The Brombergs (Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas) fondly recall eating steamed lobsters at the beach on Long Island. Their modern twist is grilled lobster with miso butter. Miso brings salty umami notes to the sweet, succulent lobster.
Shrimp and Corn Cakes with Heirloom Tomato Salsa
Delicious patties made of fresh corn, shrimp, and bell pepper are pan-fried to perfection in this recipe. Serrano chile in the heirloom tomato salsa adds a bit of heat, and cilantro some earthy freshness.
Pan Bagnat (Niçoise Salad Sandwiches)
These sandwiches take everything you love about a Niçoise salad and put it between two slices of a baguette.
Balsamic and Shallot Chicken Breasts
Chef Boyce (Cotton Row and Commerce Kitchen, Huntsville, Ala.) remembers his father's chicken from weekly family barbecues when he was a kid. Our take amps up flavor with a balsamic reduction and cooks it stovetop for better control over doneness.
Pork Patties with Plum Sauce and Napa Cabbage Slaw
Asian seasonings jazz up these mini pork burgers. We add bulgur to the patties to stretch the ground pork and keep saturated fat in check.
Penne with Herbs, Tomatoes, and Peas
Put those garden-fresh cherry tomatoes to use! An ideal dish for warm-weather entertaining, this summery pasta salad is full of the freshest flavors of summer.
Grilled Eggplant Banh Mi Sandwich
Sandwich night doesn't have to be boring anymore. Mix things up with this veggie-filled, Vietnamese-inspired creation.
Corn Frittata with Pecorino-Romano Cheese
There isn't an herb that doesn't go well with crisp fresh corn—dill, basil, cilantro, lovage—but dark green Italian parsley is also good and bracing against the corn's sweetness. For an extra dose of smoky essence, sprinkle a pinch of smoked paprika over each serving.
Grilled Cheese and Green Chile Sandwiches
We love the mix of mild green chiles (with their distinct vegetal flavors) and spicy poblanos. For fun, cut sandwiches into strips and serve with gazpacho.
Halibut with Charred Tomatoes and Dill
Who would believe this elegant dish takes only 12 minutes to make? For the prettiest presentation, choose small tomatoes in different colors. If some of your garden oregano is purple, by all means use it here.
Grilled Chicken Thighs with Peach-Lime Salsa
We love the combination of sweet peaches and fiery peppers; seed the jalapeño if you prefer a dish with hints of pepper flavor, minus the burn.
Duck Breasts with Blackberry-Port Sauce
Luscious, lean duck breasts make for a sophisticated but easy main dish where the blackberry sauce provides a fruity counter-point to the duck's meatiness. For a light dinner, serve over a bed of lettuce with a piece of crusty bread.
Linguine with Sweet Pepper Sauce
The glorious finish to this dish is Burrata—a very soft buffalo milk cheese with a supercreamy center. The name in Italian means "buttered," hinting at the sweet, rich flavor. If you can't find it, substitute ricotta cheese.
Cavatappi with Salmon and Wilted Fennel
The fennel bulb and fronds are both used in this dish, but save the stalks, too—they'll add anise-like notes to vegetable stock.
Spaghetti with Toasty Garlic Tomato Sauce
Garlic, cooked until lightly brown but not burnt, adds a gorgeous dimension to the flavor. Very thinly sliced tomatoes are key. Use a sharp, thin serrated knife; it only takes 5 minutes. If tomatoes taste too acidic, add 1/8 teaspoon sugar.
Silky Pappardelle with Zucchini Ribbons
Baby zucchini and cherry tomatoes add fresh flavor to this creamy pappardelle dish.
Summer Vegetable Rigatoni with Chicken
Summer veggies—cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas—are the real showstoppers in this chicken rigatoni.
Bacon and Shrimp Pasta Toss
Most people don't think "light" when they see bacon listed as an ingredient, but this quick, one-dish meals boasts only 396 calories per serving and packs a whopping 26 grams of protein.
Roasted Zucchini and Black Bean Tostadas with Crisp Radish Relish
The radish relish gives a hit of bright crunch to the tostada; sour cream adds a cool, creamy finish.