Ah summer, the season of fresh food and al fresco dining. Not only is the garden overflowing with delicious fruits and vegetables, but kitchen herbs are finally at their peak of taste and variety. Summer savory anyone?
The season’s meals are characterized by cooling flavors, refreshing drinks, and grilled ingredients easy to whip up on the barbecue on a hot afternoon. Desserts lean towards citrus and berries for their ability to quench our thirst. Roasted vegetables also feature prominently, for that sweet umami taste that seems to go along with summer.
The following recipes bring together all that we love about hot-weather dining: citrusy freshness, earthy aromas, salads to savor, along with dessert dreaminess. Rounding up 10 of our favorites wasn’t easy, but we think this represents the bounty of the season, along with its color and taste. Be sure to stop by and give some love to the hardworking bloggers who create these recipes for everyone to enjoy. Bon appetit!
Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars
If you’ve embraced minimalism everywhere in your life but the kitchen, think again. Minimalist Baker creates recipes that largely follow a 10 ingredients or less philosophy, making them simple, affordable, and did we mention delicious? This staff favorite has all the citrusy summer tang you want on a hot day. With an almond-oat crust and maple syrup for sweetening, it’s gluten free and natural to boot.
Roasted Beet Salad With Goat Cheese and Pistachios
Beets and goat cheese are a match made in heaven. Add in pistachios and you’ve got a winning combination for any summer barbecue. We love this recipe from Cookie and Kate for its versatility: arugula gone to seed? Choose lettuce or kale for a late-season substitute. Toss together with some salad servers and you’re good to go!
Walnut “Chorizo” Tacos With Pineapple Salsa
If you’ve ever craved something with a meaty texture but have reduced or eliminated meat from your diet, this is your new go-to entree. The crumbly taco “meat” is full of nutty, spicy flavor while the tangy coleslaw serves up the perfect complement. Topped with avocado smash and pineapple salsa, this recipe offers a mouthful of summertime, courtesy of Pinch of Yum.
Grilled Cauliflower Wedges With Tahini Yogurt and Sumac Onions
Looking for that perfect barbecue flavor? Look no further. Laura Wright at The First Mess reveals her secrets to perfect, flame grilled veg in this dish that is hearty enough to be an entree. Dressed with delicious tahini yogurt and Middle-Eastern-inspired onions, this dish is tops on flavor. She even includes instructions on how to cut cauliflower for the barbecue for grilled perfection.
Perfect Peach Crisp
If you’re like us and find yourself with a mountain of peaches come midsummer, there’s nothing better than a crispy, cobbly dessert stuffed with juicy peaches. Top-rated by staff for ease of assembly and amazing flavor, this recipe will have adults and kids both clamoring for more. Prep, bake and serve in an hour. Pecans are perfect when paired with peaches, but we think that crunchy, toasty topping is why we keep coming back to this recipe for summer gatherings. Courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Related: How to Grow Peaches Organically
Magic Cellophane Noodle Bowls
This has to be one of the most beautiful bowls to come along. Featuring naturally-dyed vermicelli and an assortment of fresh, vibrant vegetables, this is a guaranteed feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Crispy tofu adds a dose of protein, while a Vietnamese-inspired sauce, fried shallots, and fresh cilantro pack a mouthful of flavor. Thank you Love and Olive Oil.
Vegan Potato Salad with Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Zucchini
Summer gardens usually overflow with zucchini and potatoes, and they never taste quite as good as they do in an old-fashioned potato salad. A staple for afternoon picnics and evening barbecues, potato salad blends satisfying ingredients with tangy flavor. This recipe by Vegan Richa features a vegan ‘sour cream’ and onion dressing packed with herbs for a fresh summer taste.
Classic Bean Salad
In our books, a summer meal isn’t complete without a mixed bean salad. Filled with four bean varieties (and enough fiber to counteract whatever you eat for dessert), this salad is easy to put together when company is coming. It also tastes delicious thanks to a blend of sweet and salty that’s just right for a summer afternoon. Substitute fresh herbs for even more flavor. Delicious! Courtesy of Simply Stacie.
Creamy Mushroom Pea Risotto
Ah, the one-pot meal…ready in under 30 minutes without a trail of dirty dishes. But that’s not all to love about this dish. Risotto is known for its luxurious, rich texture that’s both creamy and low in fat. Persistent stirring is all that’s needed to bring together the earthy taste of mushrooms and leeks with the fresh taste of peas in this vegan twist on a buttery favorite. Just be sure to use Arborio rice for the best outcome. Courtesy of Nutriciously.
Vegan Dumplings with Dipping Sauce
Dumplings may feel like a winter dish, but we love them as finger food at a picnic luncheon. Serve on an artisan cutting board and voila! Instant chic. Stuffed with shitake mushrooms, mixed veggies, and crumbled tofu, they’re packed with fiber, flavor and protein. One bonus in this recipe is the author’s step-by-step instructions, leading you to the perfect dumpling, without mess. The dipping sauce is the pièce de résistance. Courtesy of Jessica in the Kitchen.
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