I have about a billion delicious summer recipes floating around in my recipe box. For me, the perfect summer recipe is fast and, ideally, cooked or at the very least enjoyed outdoors. And out of my collection, I always find a few recipes that I like to repeat during the hot summer months.
Here are a few of my favorite summer recipes (and yes, I’m starting with dessert first!):
Melon & Apple Granita: This granita uses sweet ripe melon for flavor, apple juice instead of sugar and a touch of lime juice to perk up the flavors. Berries look beautiful on top; or if you can find fresh figs, add them. For a vibrant look, make with an orange-fleshed melon, such as cantaloupe, Charentais or orange honeydew.
Smoky Ham & Corn Salad: Fresh corn, diced deli ham and crunchy croutons are tossed with a smoky, creamy tomato dressing in this light summer salad. Serve with a crisp glass of rosé and sliced melon.
Garden Pizza: Bell pepper, zucchini and a fresh tomato sauce give this vegetarian pizza a taste of summer. Pair it with a beer that doesn’t have overpowering flavors, such as a lager or a less yeasty witbier, so the pizza’s fresh, subtle flavors can shine.
Tomato & Fennel Salad: I like to use heirloom tomatoes in this simple salad. They’re at their peak during the summer months and worth seeking out at your local grocery store or farmers’ market. Which varieties you choose is up to you—any will work well here.
Grilled Beef Tenderloin & Escarole: Lightly grilled escarole combined with tangy tomato vinaigrette makes an irresistible accompaniment to juicy beef tenderloin. Serve with grilled baguette.