Caitlin Bensel

These DIY sauces will help you dress up main dishes quickly while capitalizing on the season's best produce so you can enjoy those long summer evenings.

Mary Claire Britton and Jamie Vespa
July 17, 2018
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Dip into our stash of easy summer sauces to take your weeknight suppers to the next level. A dollop of sweet fruit relish or pungent carrot sauce amplifies the taste of grilled chicken and roasted lamb without a lot of fuss. Wow your crowd with with ranch dressing infused with a hit of tahini to add Mediterranean flair to a wrap or kebabs. Go nuts with an earthy pesto over mussels or atop steak for richer flavor.

Spanish Salsa

This hearty condiment can stand up to just about anything, from charred flank steak to grilled halibut.

Caitlin Bensel

This hearty condiment can stand up to just about anything, from charred flank steak to grilled halibut. If you can’t find Castelvetrano olives, pick out the mildest green olives you can find.

View Recipe: Spanish-Style Olive and Tomato Salsa

Double-Citrus Soy Sauce

Caitlin Bensel

A go-to dunking choice for pot stickers, this tangy sauce is also delicious brushed on vegetables during grilling or tossed with lo mein.

View Recipe: Double-Citrus Soy Sauce

Watermelon-Jalapeño Relish

Caitlin Bensel

Fresh-cut summer melon is best, but precubed melon will work in a pinch. Spoon this over grilled pork chops or fish, or serve it with tortilla chips for a twist on salsa.

View Recipe: Watermelon-Jalapeño Relish

Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette

Caitlin Bensel

Salty capers and bright lemon balance with the toasted almond–infused oil, yielding the perfect dressing for sautéed seafood or grilled chicken.

View Recipe: Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette

 

Fresh Cherry Relish

Cherries are a great base for savory sauces, like this tangy fresh cherry and fennel relish. For the best relish texture and presentation, be sure to evenly and finely chop all of the ingredients. A food processor would be a good shortcut, but chopping by hand gives the nicest result. Serve with grilled pork tenderloin, lamb chops, or grilled turkey cutlets. 

Caitlin Bensel

For the best relish texture and presentation, be sure to evenly and finely chop all of the ingredients. Serve with grilled pork tenderloin, lamb chops, or grilled chicken cutlets. Spoon leftovers on whole-wheat baguette slices spread with goat cheese.

View Recipe: Fresh Cherry Relish

Flaxseed and Parsley Pesto

Caitlin Bensel

Toasting the flaxseeds and walnuts first brings out their rich, nutty flavor. Serve with steak or chicken, or stir into a pot of steamed mussels and serve with crusty bread.

View Recipe: Flaxseed and Parsley Pesto

Take advantage of peak-season summer produce.

 

Tahini Ranch Dressing

Caitlin Bensel

Ranch just got a snazzy makeover. Smooth and creamy with a nice jolt of lemon and herbs, this is perfect over kebabs or your favorite pita sandwich.

View Recipe: Tahini Ranch Dressing

Carrot-Ginger Turmeric Sauce

Caitlin Bensel

Fresh turmeric looks similar to its relative–fresh ginger–but with an orange hue. Drizzle this sauce over roasted lamb or grilled chicken thighs.

View Recipe: Carrot-Ginger Turmeric Sauce

Peach-Basil Sauce

Caitlin Bensel

This fresh sauce combines ripe summer peaches with fennel and toasty pine nuts, making it the perfect pairing for smoky pork chops, flank steak, or shrimp.

View Recipe: Peach-Basil Sauce

Lemon-Garlic Infused Anchovy Sauce

Caitlin Bensel

This flavor bomb from Southern France is guaranteed to take your summer grilling game to the next level. A little goes a long way on charred summer vegetables and mild white fish.

View Recipe: Lemon-Garlic Infused Anchovy Sauce

Spicy Tomato Aioli

Caitlin Bensel

This smoky mayonnaise will be your go-to spread this summer. Pair it with your favorite burger, or treat yourself by using it as a decadent dip for sweet potato fries.

View Recipe: Spicy Tomato Aioli

Creamy Zucchini-Lime Dressing

Caitlin Bensel

All you need is a blender to whip up this super-simple no-cook sauce. Try it with grilled eggplant or chicken for a hint of Persian flavor.

View Recipe: Creamy Zucchini-Lime Dressing