Try these late-summer recipes to make the most of your weekend gathering.
Whether you have a crowd coming over or plan to enjoy a quiet weekend with family, this last weekend of what gets considered summer in most of the U.S. is traditionally a time for grilling. We’ve gathered some of our favorite seasonal recipes to help you make the weekend delicious.
Start with simple snacks
At most barbecues, patio parties, backyard picnics, or whatever else you call a casual gathering where people hang out outside while a grill cooks their food, you want to offer something to snack on while that food cooks. Bowls of potato chips and pretzels are fine, but if you want to make use of all the amazing produce this time of year, consider a batch of crispy-crunchy roasted okra, whip up raspberries with goat cheese, chop up this cucumber pico de Gallo (above), or offer this smooth-yet-crunchy cucumber labneh as a dip, a spread, or a salad. All are equally easy to pull together.
Salads + sides
Along with whatever’s on the grill, we like to include a few sides and salads to add freshness and color to the table. We love this salty sweet watermelon salad, this eggplant pepper tomato salad, or this celery peach salad (above) for their ability to sit around on a buffet table without losing their charm. If that’s your goal, then it’s worth considering this easy classic coleslaw or this bell pepper slaw. If you’re able to make a salad and serve it right away, this big berry salad is a winner, too.
For something from the grill, try charred cabbage.
Stuff to grill
If you want to mix up your burger game, try stuffed cheeseburgers. Or see how to make the best grilled steaks ever—the key trick is a wonderfully easy thing to do. Keep any chicken you want to throw on the grill from being dried out or tough with this technique for cider vinegar-marinated grilled chicken. For something less predictable, we love these fire-cooked clams (above, substitute mussels, if you like). For vegetarians, we turn to these grilled spiced cauliflower steaks.
Or skip the grill
Apartment living, grill-less vacation spots, or even a heatwave that makes even outdoor cookery too much to bear… there are a lot of reasons you may find yourself looking for seasonal recipes that don’t need a grill. For those cases, we like to keep things simple with a few summer bacon sandwiches or make a giant batch of chilled Spanish-style gazpacho (above).
Don’t forget the drinks
This basil-infused lemonade harnesses the refreshing power of the summer herb while offering flexibility on serving straight lemonade or spiking it with tequila or gin. This cooling agua fresca is similarly refreshing and flexible.
End with something sweet
If you’ve planned well ahead, you can make these pretty peach popsicles. Still a make-ahead, but that same day, this corn cake with berries (above) is always celebratory. Or, for something to bake while you’re outside enjoying the party, this blackberry crumble can’t be beat.