Haricots Verts and Grape Tomato Salad with Crème Fraîche Dressing
This dish turns your table into a fancy French bistro, but it requires exactly two minutes of cooking. Seek out real crème fraîche―it's thicker and a bit less tangy than sour cream―though sour cream will do in a pinch. This dressing is excellent on any kind of salad, and you can leave out the shallots to use it on fruit salads, too, especially those with melon.
Fresh Corn Cakes with Summer Salsa
This speedy vegetarian entrée is absolutely bursting with peak-season produce. Side suggestion: an herby white bean and arugula salad.
BBQ Chicken with Peach and Feta Slaw
This summery crunch-tastic slaw is guaranteed to find its way into your recipe rotation for the rest of the season. Using ripe, juicy peaches, it's the perfect sweet-salty side dish for any number of grilled or smoked proteins.
This simple, six-minute recipe for salmon patties could easily become a regular part of your weeknight repertoire. Mix things up by varying your condiments and breads: Cut patties in half and serve on French bread with Rémoulade Sauce for salmon po-boys, or go all-American with ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise on hamburger buns.
Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
The pairing of fresh strawberries and a thick-and-sweet poppy seed dressing is a classic everybody loves. We add a bit of white wine vinegar to the dressing for a little zing, and top the salad with almonds for crunch as well as healthy unsaturated fats. Pair this salad with grilled chicken or fish, and add any other berries you like―blueberries are especially good.
Corn and Summer Vegetable Sauté
This ultra-easy recipe takes advantage of all the flavors summer vegetables have to offer. We add almost nothing―salt, pepper, and a little cilantro―and let the spicy jalapeños, sweet corn, pungent green onion, and crunchy okra speak for themselves. To make this dish a meal, add lightly seasoned cooked chicken, shrimp, or cubed tofu to the mix at the very end.
Open-Faced Prosciutto and Plum Sandwiches
Sweet fig preserves balance the tartness of the plums. Choose red or purple plums with bright, unblemished skin that are firm and plump to the touch.
Greek Yogurt with Warm Black and Blueberry Sauce
Substitute fresh berries for frozen when making this year-round treat in the summer. This sauce also pairs well with biscuits or as a stand-in for syrup on pancakes.
Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas
Cumin is a key spice for authentic Mexican flavor, used here to flavor chicken, corn, and zucchini atop crisp broiled tortillas with Monterey Jack cheese. The recipe only takes about 15 minutes, but you can shave even more time by skipping the broiling step and serving as soft tacos instead. Serve with extra salsa and sour cream, and add your favorite variety of beans―black, pinto, or refried―as a side.
Skillet Pork Chop Sauté with Peaches
The bright, bold flavors in this dish mean you don't need a side with a lot of high-impact flavors. Serve over quick-cooking couscous.
Summer Squash Soup with Pasta and Parmesan
Cooking the pasta and squash together in chicken broth is a great way to give everything in this soup great flavor. Fresh thyme, oregano, and basil, and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan help too. Stir in chopped leftover chicken or pork to make this dish more substantial, or serve alongside a fresh salad for a quick and healthful meal.
Hot Dogs "Run Through the Garden"
If you thought these kiddie faves were off-limits in a healthy diet, think again. These Chicago-style dogs take about 15 minutes to cook, are covered in healthful and tasty vegetables, and weigh in at only 225 calories apiece. For a real treat, serve with our baked Seasoned Fries.
Asparagus Ribbons with Lemon and Goat Cheese
The fun ribbons created by shaving asparagus with a vegetable peeler are easy to make, and don't have to be cooked, so they retain their crunch and flavor. This fast salad makes a great light, fresh side for just about any summer dish, from burgers to grilled fish to barbecue.
Summer Squash Pizza
Healthful and abundant squash and zucchini get the family-friendly pizza treatment here. A balsamic marinade makes the squash extra sweet, then it's grilled, along with the pizza crust itself, for lots of smoky, charred flavor. A topping of tomatoes, pecorino cheese, and herbs finishes it all off.
Stone Fruit Salad with Toasted Almonds
With a dressing of almond oil and a white wine reduction, plus a topping of tangy goat cheese, this recipe brings some added elegance to the everyday fruit salad. It makes a nice light lunch or dinner starter on its own, but you can top with sliced chicken breast to make it more substantial. Either way, serve with chilled glasses of the wine you used in the dressing.
Omelet with Summer Vegetables
Eggs are a great source of protein and other vitamins and minerals, so an omelet makes an excellent meatless supper. For the fluffiest omelet possible, whip the egg mixture until frothy before cooking. Smoked gouda is a wonderful, deeply flavored cheese, but anything you have in the fridge, from cheddar to feta, will work here.
Creole Tomato Salad
This simple no-cook salad is one of the best ways to highlight heirloom tomatoes, with its counterpoint of pungent raw onion and a light Dijon vinaigrette. You can also make this salad the spotlight of a great BLT (use the dressing in place of mayo), or add sliced mozzarella cheese for a Creole Caprese Salad.
Grilled Halibut and Fresh Mango Salsa
With onion, cilantro, tomato, and mango in a lime-cider vinegar dressing, this salsa strikes the perfect balance between sweet and savory. It also brings out the natural sweetness of the simply grilled halibut. Ask your fishmonger what's freshest and use that, as this preparation will work with just about any kind of fish.
Fresh English Pea Salad with Mint and Pecorino
English peas and mint are a classic combination, given extra depth of flavor here with the addition of savory pecorino and bitter arugula. Fresh lemon juice (always better than bottled) in the dressing brightens all the flavors. Crumbled feta or goat cheese make excellent substitutes for pecorino, and if you can't find fresh English peas, try green beans or sugar snap peas, or use frozen.
Summer Corn and White Bean Soup
The perfect summer soup is light and full of quick-cooking, fresh, and flavorful seasonal vegetables. This hearty dish features fiber-rich navy beans, spicy green chiles, meaty ham, and crunchy sweet corn, and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Other summer produce like zucchini, tomatoes, and fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley would make excellent additions.
Turkey Burgers with Special Sauce
These burgers get added flavor from orange juice, soy sauce, and ginger, while the Special Sauce amplifies those tastes with creamy mayo and honey mustard. Whole-wheat buns are a good choice because their hearty nuttiness stands up to the sauce, but thick slices of dark rye or pumpernickel bread are great substitutes too. For a bit of cheesy indulgence, top these burgers with slices of Swiss or provolone.
Fruit Medley with Mint and Lime
Summer is the best time of year for fruit salads; fruit is sweeter and fresher when it's in season. All this dish needs is a little mint and lime to highlight the natural freshness of grapes and stone fruits. It makes an excellent side for nearly every main dish in this gallery, and you can always add whatever other fruits look best at the market, from watermelon to raspberries.
Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing
This dish looks super-summery: It's just a heaping helping of fresh vegetables mixed with delectable crabmeat in a lovely light dressing. Show off your own garden by adding other fresh veggies like zucchini or green beans. If you don't like crab, try chopped chicken or canned tuna or salmon instead.
Yellow Squash Ribbons with Red Onion and Parmesan
This dish looks gorgeous on the plate, but it's super-simple: Shave ribbons of squash with a vegetable peeler and sauté with onion and garlic for four minutes. The same ribbon technique will also work with zucchini or large carrots in this dish. If you have fresh herbs like parsley, oregano, or thyme, sprinkle a bit on top at the end for a fresh zing.
Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic
While many fall and winter vegetables need long cooking to be tender, summer produce is much more superfast friendly. Green beans cook in just over 10 minutes with simple flavorings―lemon, garlic, and butter―for a sublime side with only 49 calories and half a gram of saturated fat per serving. It's shown here with Roasted Fresh Corn, Poblano, and Cheddar Pizza, but it's an excellent pair for any summer meal.
Chicken Kebabs with Creamy Pesto
Creamy pesto is the perfect cooling counterpoint to these flavorful chicken kebabs.
Seared Tuna with Avocado Salsa
Before you sear the tuna, be sure to get the pan screaming hot–this gives you a deep crust without overcooking the interior. Look for yellowfin tuna caught using the troll or pole-and-line technique.
Crab and Heirloom Tomato Salad
You'll find colorful, mini sweet peppers in 8-ounce bags in the produce section.
Chicken Cutlets with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa
This colorful, flavor-forward dish makes the most of peak-season produce with a sweet and tangy fruit salsa that would be equally delicious served over pork chops or with whole-grain tortilla chips. The heat from the seeded jalapeño is mild, but it can be omitted. To round out your plate, try serving the chicken and salsa over a bed of rice or with a simple side salad.