Easy Summer Recipes – New York Times
The sun may be shining, the birds may be chirping, and produce may be plentiful, but sometimes you need a warm, comforting meal to fill your stomach and soothe your soul. (And let’s be honest, a salad wouldn’t do.) Here are some dishes that will make you feel like you took a long nap in a lakeside hammock.
Eggplant Parmesan is a labor of love no matter how you prepare it, but Eric Kim’s simplified version is a bit less laborious. Instead of frying them, panko-coated eggplant slices are baked in the oven on a skillet, and store-bought marinara sauce can replace the traditional all-day-simmering kind.
Alison Roman’s Soft and Sweet Zucchini Bread is easy to put together, and eating a slice warm from the oven and covered in melted butter may be more effective than the cure. This recipe makes two loaves so you can share one or freeze one for later.
recipe: Classic zucchini bread
Sometimes known as Texas caviar, this happy mixture of beans, corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños and onions tossed in a tangy, sweet red vinaigrette is one of those dishes that seems to disappear (poof!). For a little extra creaminess, add diced avocado.
recipe: Cowboy caviar
Well, you are right. If you’re craving split ends, Naz Deravian’s Creamy Chicken Alfredo isn’t a summer dish per se, but serve it with a garden salad or alongside roasted zucchini, and ta-da! that it.
If you can’t make it to the state fair this summer, bring it home by making Lady Hyuk’s recipe for funnel cake. Light, crunchy, and sweet just enough, these decorative fried donuts are a joy to make and eat.
recipe: Funnel cake
In this surprise dish from Melissa Clark, savory pork meatballs play with sweet peaches, fresh basil, and tangy lemon for a savory-sweet meal that hits all the flavors. Use any ground meat you prefer, and feel free to substitute nectarines or ripe plums for peaches. (Just make sure it’s very ripe.)
recipe: Fried meatballs with peaches, basil and lemon
Alexa Weibel’s Watermelon Margarita is everything you want in a summer cocktail: refreshing, slightly sweet, and spicy enough to keep it interesting. (For those who abstain from alcohol, try this cucumber and watermelon recipe.)
recipe: Watermelon margarita
Dan dan noodles are traditionally made with ground pork and pickled vegetables, but in this delicious vegetarian take on the classic Sichuan dish from Hetty McKinnon, stir-fried eggplant steps in with the pork. The recipe calls for tahini, but finely ground almond or peanut butter will substitute.
recipe: Vegetarian Dan Dan Noodles with Eggplant
This cobbler from Edna Lewis, the Virginia chef whose books helped define the canon of Southern cooking, features a pie crust that lets the flavors of stone fruit shine. Mrs. Lewis liked to make them with a lattice top, placing bits of raw dough in the filling, which cooked into dumplings as the fruit juices condensed.
This gorgeous dish is inspired by panzanella, the much-loved Tuscan bread salad, but Hetty MacKinnon brilliantly swaps out the bread for store-bought fried gnocchi — and we love her for it. Shelf-stable gnocchi work best, but frozen will also work; Just don’t disturb them while cooking so they don’t fall apart.
recipe: Crispy gnocchi with tomatoes and red onions
Hetty Louie MacKinnon’s tacos de papa, as they’re known in Mexico, are crunchy in all the right ways. Cooking the potatoes whole, skin and all, keeps them from falling apart, and the skin adds a delicious texture to the filling.
recipe: Crispy potato taco
This super-quick salmon recipe from Sue Li requires just five ingredients: salmon, gochujang, doenjang, garlic, and sugar. If you don’t have gochujang or doenjang, feel free to substitute harissa or miso paste. For a complete meal, toss asparagus spears or zucchini pieces with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and grill them on a separate baking sheet underneath the salmon.
recipe: Grilled gochujang salmon
He reassured me with fried chicken. In this veal Milanese dish from Melissa Clark, chicken fillets are pounded until evenly thick, then breaded, fried, and served with a simple tomato mozzarella salad drizzled with basil oil.
recipe: Chicken Milanese with tomato, mozzarella and basil salad
Get shocked. Two pounds of fresh corn kernels go into this classic casserole from Ali Slagle made with corn and a simple but rich mixture of flour, cheddar, sour cream, eggs, and butter. Bake them until done, then eat them straight from the pan until your mood improves.
Genevieve Kuo’s Spicy and Sweet Kung Pao Chicken, which she adapted from Grace Hahn and Pearl Hahn, comes together in just 15 minutes. “It was delicious, so easy, and it made me feel like I was taken care of,” Christine Chambrot, associate editor of the New York Times Cooking, said the other day.
recipe: Easy Kung Pao Chicken
If you haven’t made Marianne Burros’ famous plum cake, what are you waiting for? This recipe was first published in the newspaper in 1983, but has been reprinted several times due to reader demand. It’s highly adaptable: it works with practically any summer fruit (pears and apples too), you can bake it in almost any pan and it’s very hard to mess with.
recipe: Original plum tart
Tomatoes and basil, summer’s sweet couple, star in this classic risotto from Martha Rose Shulman. One clever reader added a little fresh mozzarella to her caprese-style risotto. Risotto takes a little time and attention to make, but maybe all that stirring is soothing? One can hope.
recipe: Tomato and basil risotto
This ice cream cake from Ali Slagle is so fun to make because it’s just assembling, and you can use any ice cream flavors you like from the store. Start with a layer of cookies, then a layer of ice cream, then a layer of ice cream sandwiches, then another layer of ice cream. Sprinkle with Magic Shell (and maybe colorful sprinkles?) before serving. Trust us: even the saddest guests will love it.
recipe: Mint chocolate chip ice cream cake
Millie Peartree’s classic mayonnaise-based pasta salad is inspired by the ones served at Kennedy Fried Chicken restaurants. It’s perfectly balanced: savory from the mayonnaise, mildly sweet from the carrots, and a touch of sugar. “The dish is as comforting in the summer as macaroni cheese is in the winter,” one reader wrote.
“Who knew you could cook ribs in a slow cooker, and they could be so tender and luscious with so little effort?” one reader asked. Sarah DiGregorio, this is it! This is the perfect recipe for rib lovers who don’t have a grill and don’t want to heat up their kitchen. (These beauties need a quick grilling, but only for a few minutes.) The pressure cooker version can be found here.
recipe: Hot honey ribs in the slow cooker
Bibim guksu, or “mixed noodles” in Korean, is the perfect summer meal. It’s cold and hot and very easy to make yourself. Bibim kuksu doesn’t typically include kimchi, but in this recipe from Daron Kwak, it delivers welcome hot and sour flavors.
recipe: Kimchi bibim goksu
Ali Slagle’s clever trick of adding finely grated cheddar cheese to mayonnaise, then spreading it on hot toast results in a wonderful spread that’s somewhere between queso and pepper-free pimento cheese. Garnishing it with fresh tomatoes makes it the best summer snack ever.
recipe: Cheddar tomato toast
Melissa Clark comes to the rescue again with her super easy peanut butter ice cream that doesn’t require a machine. Secret ingredient? Unsweetened oat milk creamer. The end result is lush, generous and beautiful.
recipe: Easy Vegan Maple Peanut Butter Ice Cream
These crispy fritters from Valerie Lomas are made with fresh corn, cheddar cheese, scallions, chiles, and straight dough, then pan-fried until golden and crispy. Eat it alone or alongside grilled chicken.
This sticky dessert from Jerrelle Guy isn’t spoon bread and isn’t quite cake, but it falls happily somewhere in between. It can be made with almost any fresh or frozen ripe summer fruit, but you can serve it with a spoon as it is too soft to cut with a knife.
recipe: Strawberry cake spoon
Take you to the farmers market. Two full pounds of eggplant and zucchini go into this delicious weeknight meal from Kai Chun. The secret to unsalted eggplant is to slowly fry it in a non-stick pan until cooked and caramelized without adding a lot of oil.
recipe: Eggplant and zucchini pasta with feta and dill