These are our favorite picks to eat when it's hot outside.
July 31, 2009
1 of 7Randy Mayor
Watermelon and Cucumber Tonic
Gin and tonics are great, but they're a bit staid for an exuberant Fourth of July celebration. So, we added watermelon, lemon, cucumber, and mint to create this sweet, refreshing, and gorgeously pink cocktail. It'll be a hit at any outdoor party, and you can always leave out the gin for a virgin version.
Limoncello is an Italian liqueur that can be mixed in a refreshing spritzer, but it truly stands out in this sorbet when paired with aromatic mint and fresh blackberries. “We made this for a five course gourmet dinner,” explains Peggi. “We used it for an intermezzo instead of a dessert. All our guests raved. It certainly cleared their palate for the next course!”
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.
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.
“Yum...This is really good. I was surprised at how authentic a margarita flavor it had―expected it to be far more fruity,” says chelliel. For a festive impromptu fiesta, pair this cocktail with Three-Pepper Salsa and crisp tortilla chips.
This Southern staple is hard to resist when a tantalizing batch requires only five ingredients. CL Fan writes, “This recipe is fantastic, very easy and full of peach flavor. It's simple but not too sweet like commercial ice cream. Would recommend this to anyone who loves a taste of summer.”
Purple basil's mildly spicy flavors―think clove, licorice, mint, and cinnamon―adds a layer of complexity to this super-easy lemonade. For best results, crush the basil with sugar in a mortar and pestle to release its fragrant oils. Or, if you don't have a set, process the basil, sugar, and about 1/4 cup of the water in a food processor or blender.