We are officially in the dog days of summer. I don’t know about you, but around here, it’s been 90+ degrees, hot, sticky, with thunderstorms in the afternoons. The other day when I was walking the dog, I detected the lovely deep summer scent of wet dish towel in the air. This is why air conditioning was invented.
Folks who have been visiting my blog have been digging up my summertime recipes, so I thought I’d highlight the top hits to make it a bit easier on you. For deep summer cooking, you want to keep the oven off as much as possible and take advantage of all that fresh garden goodness.
My garden is turning out tons of cherry tomatoes and a few of the bigger ones. We’ve got lots of green ones, so August will be a big month for tomatoes, I predict. The basil plant is huge this year — I can’t use it up fast enough. And at the farmers’ market, I predictably came home with a larger watermelon than my husband and I could ever possibly eat.
Here are some ideas for a tasty summer menu:
- As a starter or for snacks, I’ve been making a lot of bruschetta to use up the tomatoes and basil from my garden. Almost any fresh veggies — roasted or raw — make good bruschetta toppings.
- Salsa is another good snacking option that takes advantage of juicy ripe tomatoes.
- I’ve been experimenting with variations on caprese salads, as well as making it the traditional way, to consume even more basil.
- Herb butters and pestos are simple, fresh accompaniments for grilled chicken, steak and fish.
- You’re probably swimming in summer squash and zucchini; here are some ideas for how to use them.
- Got watermelon, or any other abundance of fresh fruit? Use them up in a sorbet. I’ve been freezing pureed fruit as popsicles, as well, for low-cal treats.
Here are some summer recipes around the Web that I am drooling over:
- Honey-Herb Vinegar from Sidewalk Shoes
- Mark Bittman’s No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
- Passive-Aggressive Appetizers from The New Yorker (ok, this one’s just for fun)