Summer Side Dishes
These refreshing sides will add color and flavor to your favorite summer meals.
This light salad mixes sweet tomatoes, peppery arugula, and salty Parmesan for a winning combination. It can be served as either a side to a larger meal or as a refreshingly light lunch entrèe.
These skewers bring lots of color to any summer meal. With only a 10-minute cook time, they are quick and easy to prepare, and keep the squash crisp and delicious while adding a smoky flavor, which mixes well with the South Asian flavors of coriander and cumin.
This colorful dish incorporates as much summer produce as we could fit in a pan: lima beans, sweet onion, bell pepper, corn, tomatoes, and cilantro. All their individual flavors are enhances with lemon and lots of garlic for a delicious and easy recipe. It's great for you, too―one 243-calorie serving contains less than three grams of fat and about half a day's fiber.
Southerners are well acquainted with the joys of okra, especially the crunchy-tender combination that results from deep-frying the pods. But anyone can enjoy this dish, which keeps all the crunch and dispenses with the grease.View Recipe: Oven-Fried Okra
The ingredient list for this recipe is full of fresh summer flavors that are perfect for a light, yet satisfying, salad. Use any fig variety you like or a combination of varieties.
This colorful salad will be a bright addition to any table. It’s light and flavorful, making it perfect for an alfresco dinner on a warm summer day.
A vegetable peeler turns squash into delicate ribbons, a foil for the salty ham. It's delicious raw when it’s shaved and marinated with a bit of salt.
Next time you grill, throw on some extra bell pepper, corn, and tomato for this dish. The grilled vegetables are pureed, spreading smoky flavor and thick, creamy texture into every spoonful. A sprinkle of blue cheese on top adds even more layers of flavor. Tomato soup won't be just for cold, rainy afternoons anymore after this.
This recipe highlights the fresh taste of cherry tomatoes, whether from your garden, a farmers' market, or the store. As a bonus, it lasts up to two days, so you can serve it at multiple meals. Great with burgers on the grill, or just as a snack on its own.View Recipe: Spiced Marinated Tomatoes
Everyone loves fresh sweet corn, so it's fun to take it beyond basic. This dish adds elegance to corn's lovely sweetness. Impress company or just add color to a family dinner with this light and airy creation.
The cornucopia of vegetables in this slaw give it a rainbow of colors and an array of textures and flavors, while the Asian-tinged dressing that brings it all together is bright and fresh with a kick of hot chile paste to keep things interesting. Pair with burgers or barbecue to tweak a traditional summer dinner.
This salad transforms simple ingredients into something truly elegant. Green beans, basil, shallots, tomatoes, and pine nuts are tossed with a dressing that's simultaneously creamy and light for a versatile dish.
With cornichons, tarragon, and a lemon-herb dressing, this is a South-of-France spin on an American classic. We promise you won't miss the mayonnaise. The briefly grilled yellow squash brings a bit of crunch and caramelized flavor to the salad, as well as summery color.
Fresh favas are an early-summer treat that disappear pretty quickly. Take advantage with this hearty salad that packs in all sorts of nutritious elements―from the whole-grain power of spelt to vitamin-rich dried currants and tomatoes.
We tested this recipe with not-too-sweet Brown Turkey figs; if using sweeter Black Mission figs, you may need to decrease the sugar. The mashed fig mixture can stand as long as overnight.
Great with grilled chicken, lamb, or salmon, this side-dish salad also packs well for a picnic. Almost any fruit would work well in place of nectarines–try apricots, peaches, or figs.
Also called Italian flat beans or runner beans, this snap bean variety looks like a wide, flat green bean. You can easily substitute an equal amount of regular green beans if you prefer.
Fresh-from-the-pod cranberry beans are creamy and delicious, especially when adorned with a mixture of herbs, nuts, and cheese. Serve alongside grilled lamb or pork, or enjoy a larger serving as a vegetarian entrée.
Simplicity has never looked so beautiful. A stunning combination of skin-on peaches and heirloom tomatoes of various colors, sizes, and shapes creates a sweet-savory salad that pairs well with grilled pork.
Tian, a French word used throughout Provence, refers to both a shallow cooking vessel and the food cooked in it. An 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish works well for this recipe, but if you have a 2-quart tian or gratin dish, all the better.
Even folks who usually don't like okra enjoy the taste and texture of this highly seasoned dish. We left the seeds in the chile for moderate spice. Serve with grilled chicken or lamb.
Asian flavorings elevate a summer veggie side dish. A splash of delicious Gingery Orange Sauce gives just the right amount of tang.
This dish is baked just long enough to bring out the juices of the tomatoes, then chilled. Serve it as a salad or a side dish. Keep the colors of the tomatoes and peppers the same, or vary them wildly. Campari tomatoes are commonly available at supermarkets; look for tomatoes that are smaller than the vine-ripened ones but larger than grape tomatoes (about 1½ inches wide).
Never considered grilling green beans? It's a fantastic approach, kissing the vegetables with a little smoky char. Be sure not to skip the step of covering and letting the mixture stand; all steams to perfect doneness in that time. If you don't have a grill basket, grill on a large piece of heavy-duty foil.
This all-purpose, easy summer side goes great with just about any main dish. You can keep the cooking indoors by using a grill pan; because of the smaller surface area, you'll need to cook the squash in two batches.