Zucchini Pesto with Crudités
Small bites allow for more conversation while entertaining. Serve this summery appetizer on a platter than can be passed and shared. The cooked zucchini is delicious on its own (try it as a spread) and even better blended with almonds, fresh herbs, and cheese. Garnish with a little extra cheese, if desired.
Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks with Tropical Fruit Salad
You'll find everything but the tiki torch in this updated retro classic. Give the drumsticks a head start on a hot grill pan; then lower the heat so the glaze won't burn. Go meatless by swapping 3/4-inch-thick slices of extra-firm tofu for drumsticks. Glaze and grill 3 minutes on each side.
Goat Cheese Crostini with Watermelon-Beet Salsa
You can use any type of beet, or substitute chopped tomato or more watermelon. Juicy produce adds a nice balance to the tangy flavor of the goat cheese, without becoming runny or mushy. These mini crostinis make for the perfect appetizer for a crowd, or a fun summertime snack
Veggie Salad in a Jar
Layer a colorful salad in portable glass jars. Kids will give it a thumbs-up. Make these salads up to a day ahead; pack them tightly with the dressing on the bottom, followed by denser ingredients that won't get soggy while they marinate. Customize with your favorite seasonal veggies, fresh cheeses, and whole grains. These make great additions to lunch bags, picnic baskets, or road trip coolers and can easily double if you need lunch for 4 people.
Chamomile-Strawberry-Orange Cold-Brewed Tea
Stay cool and refreshed with our favorite iced tea recipes. Whether it's an adult (spiked) version, a mocktail, or just a plain ol' glass of brewed tea, these thirst quenchers are sure to find their way into your summertime drink rotation.
Our first idea, cold-brewed tea, is great for barbecues or potlucks. Keep the crowd chill with these self-serve thirst quenchers. Fruit adds sweetness to this refreshing drink. If you wish, substitute raspberries for the strawberries, or drop in a sprig of lemon verbena to boost the aromatic citrus. Steep the tea in jars overnight in the fridge; then pack the jars into a bin filled with ice for an easy, guest-friendly drink station.
Panko-Crusted Chicken Drumsticks with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce
The buttermilk marinade makes the drumsticks nice and tender. It's a really good crowd-pleaser and great for picky kids, too. Make sure you spread the drumsticks out on your pan so that each one can crisp up nicely.
Sweet Pea and Avocado Dip with Baked Pita Chips
Incorporating green peas into this tasty summer snack not only reduces the amount of fat but also adds sweetness and further brightens the green color.
Zucchini and Goat Cheese Quiche
Is there anything more French than a savory vegetable quiche? Choose fresh-looking, smooth-skinned zucchini. If you have a vegetable garden, add strips of squash blossom to the tart, as well. Crumbled goat cheese and diced ham give the tart a complex flavor.
Summer Melon Salad
To achieve beautiful, crater-free spheres, press the cup of the melon baller flat and firmly into the flesh of a halved seeded melon. Then turn 180 degrees (or 360 degrees if the melon needs additional shaping), and lift.
Fresh summer peaches are a welcome addition to traditional lemonade in this easy, kid-friendly recipe. For the best and brightest flavors, make sure that your peaches are perfect ripeness.
Nectarine and Radish Salsa
Sweet, crunchy, and tangy, this condiment should be a constant presence on your spring and summer table. Use as a sauce for any grilled meat or fish. Spread on grilled or toasted bread with goat cheese for bruschetta. Add some jalapeño slices for a tortilla-chip dip. The possibilities are endless.
Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
This Caprese-inspired pasta toss is the ultimate summer main for a busy weeknight, outdoor picnic, or lunch on the go. Use yellow and red tomatoes for a stunning presentation and wonderful flavor variety.
Chicken and Arugula Pasta Salad
In this dish, just a bit of a rich and pungent cheese can go quite a long way. Tossing hot pasta with a few ounces of creamy Brie makes for a light, luscious, and flavorful sauce to coat this abundant bowl of chicken, fresh veggies, and whole-grain noodles.
Chile-Lime Watermelon Wedges
A dusting of smoky chile powder, earthy cumin, zingy lime rind, and a hit of salt turns watermelon's flavor up to 11.
Let's Start with the Cooler: We recommend a cooler that is on wheels and depending on the size of the group, an 82 qt. is a good size to invest in to fit your food and drinks comfortably. Pack enclosed ice packs as a bottom layer then begin stacking your main dishes and side dishes in plastic containers. Follow with any fruit, cheese and soften items at the top.
Tip: Buy multiple bags of ice. Layer on the top section of the cooler to keep the food cold and then designate another one (or two) for drinks - the actual ice going into the cocktails and drinks.
A slightly richer and sweeter postdinner sip helps you to digest the meal just as a light and dry aperitif helped start it. Fresh raspberries, strawberries, and lemons provide the right balance of sweet and sour flavor.
Crisp and Spicy Snack Mix
Snack on this salty, spicy mix before dinner. And if there's any left, toss it on a salad.
Grilled Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches
The classic Caprese salad of juicy tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and fragrant basil makes for a fantastic vegetarian sandwich. We've added grilled zucchini to up the game. Gooey mozza puts it over the top. Crunch is key with the bread, but you can sub in a crusty baguette.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Charred Asparagus and Snap Peas
Reserve some marinade to serve as the sauce, saving time and uniting flavors. For extra charred flavor, cook the veggies in a cast-iron skillet directly on the grill instead of the stovetop.
Carne Asada Steak Sandwiches
Peach Salad with Tomatoes and Beets
Golden beets and a mix of colorful tomatoes (like Purple Cherokee and red heirlooms) offer a dramatic contrast on the plate and are a beautiful and tasty base for the tangy-sweet peaches on top—but red beets and any garden tomatoes would also work.
Haricots Verts with Cherry Tomatoes and Mushrooms
Sweet cherry tomatoes and earthy mushrooms tossed with delicate French green beans make a colorful and flavorful addition to your weeknight dinner.
Andrew Zimmern's Grilled Corn and Snap Pea Salad
You can assemble this salad the day before you plan to serve it, but toss in dressing just before serving to keep Zimmern's salad as crisp as he intended.
Strawberry-Chicken Salad with Pecans
This main-dish salad features juicy strawberries at their seasonal peak.
Mushroom-Potato Salad with Miso "Mayo"
White miso is the umami-bomb base of the dressing that will have you licking the bowl. It's potato salad like you've never had before, guaranteed to steal the show at your next barbecue.
- New Potatoes
- Low-Fat Yogurt
- Exotic Mushroom Blend
- Red Onion
- White Miso
Hands-on: 20 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Tangy Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Classic lemon squares can contain 36g sugar per piece. We put a puckery cheesecake spin on ours—cutting sugar to just 6g per bar—which allows the bright citrus to shine.
Chilled Peaches in Orange Flower Water
This dish is all about the fragrant orange flower water. Look for it in Mediterranean markets or speciality supermarkets. At farmers' markets, you can find peaches whose flesh is nearly red, their skin fragile and lightly furred, their flavor intensely perfumed and deep. This recipe, which couldn't be simpler, exemplifies the most important tenet of all French coking—when you have fabulous ingredients, get out of the way and let them speak for themselves. Chilling the peaches makes them easier to slice nicely and gives a refreshing edge to their flavor.