Five-Ingredient Summer Recipes

The season's best fruits and vegetables star in these easy recipes, which call for just a handful of ingredients. 

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Glazed Cucumbers with Dill

Cooked in a little butter and flavored with dill and salt, sliced cucumbers become the perfect topping for a slice of pumpernickel. 

Get the Recipe: Glazed Cucumbers with Dill

Glazed Cucumbers with Dill

The "before" shot of the dish. When cukes are at their peak, they need little dressing up — here, it's just butter, dill and salt. 

Baby Bok Choy with Bacon, Onion and Butter Beans

Instead of appearing in the typical stir-fry, bok choy gets used here like a hearty green. 

Get the Recipe: Baby Bok Choy with Bacon, Onion and Butter Beans

Baby Bok Choy with Bacon, Onion and Butter Beans

In the mix with the bok choy are bacon, onion and butter beans. 

Ultra-Creamy Avocado Smoothie

For a different kind of green smoothie, try avocado as the main ingredient. 

Get the Recipe: Ultra-Creamy Avocado Smoothie

Ultra-Creamy Avocado Smoothie

A mix of regular milk and the sweetened condensed variety — plus a hit of crushed ice — gives the drink its smooth texture and cool temperature. 

Fig, Bacon and Frisee Salad

Sweet, rich figs are great companions for bitter greens, bacon and black pepper.  

Get the Recipe: Fig, Bacon and Frisee Salad

Fig, Bacon and Frisee Salad

If your figs are super-ripe, they will be creamy too, kind of like the soft egg yolks in the classic French salad of frisee, bacon and poached egg.

Lemon-Vanilla Bean Posset with Raspberries

The creamy custard base for this gorgeous summer treat requires just three ingredients: heavy cream, sugar and lemon juice. For subtle citrus notes, put some orange zest into the cream before scalding it, then strain it out before pouring the cream over the berries.

Get the Recipe: Lemon-Vanilla Bean Posset with Raspberries

Lemon-Vanilla Bean Posset with Raspberries

Although it's tempting to dig into this creamy treat right away — especially since the lemon sets the cream and sugar in just 15 minutes — it's best to let the possets chill for 3 hours, until they're just spoonable. Chilled overnight, they're firmer and equally spectacular.

Peach Jam

Reap the benefits of seasonal summer fruit by preparing fragrant peach jam from scratch. There are many different peach varieties, but the main distinction is between clingstone and freestone. You can use either for this recipe.

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Peach Jam

Simmer the peaches in sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and cloves until the fruit cooks down into jam. To boost the citrusy tartness, try adding a few strips of lemon peel (and discard them when you take out the cloves).

Pickled Celery Relish

Serve this crunchy, tangy relish as a condiment with everything from fried chicken-and-biscuits to fried rice, fold it into egg or chicken salad, or use it like giardiniera, layered with meat and cheeses on a crusty roll.

Get the Recipe: Pickled Celery Relish

Pickled Celery Relish   

Vinegar, salt, sugar, ginger and a chile come together to create a brine for the celery. If you have some mustard seeds on hand, stir them into the pickling liquid for a little extra crunch and flavor.

Slightly Pickled Honeydew with Herbs

A cross between a pickle and a salad, these melon wedges make a great side for grilled meats, especially those with Asian-inspired marinades or sauces, or a sweet and spicy addition to sandwiches and wraps.

Get the Recipe: Slightly Pickled Honeydew with Herbs

Slightly Pickled Honeydew with Herbs

Prepare a brine for the honeydew by combining the vinegar, sugar and chiles in a saucepan. If you like your pickles spicy, use Thai chiles; for less heat, use Fresnos. Reserve the chopped peanuts and cilantro for garnish when serving.  

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Shallots and Almonds

Between the crunchy almonds, the tender chard leaves and the crisp shallots, this simple dish offers a ton of different textures. Cook the chard stems first, since they need a little more time than the leaves to get tender.

Get the Recipe: Sauteed Swiss Chard with Shallots and Almonds

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Shallots and Almonds

The olive oil and apple cider vinegar create a silky but tart dressing for this simple side. Dried fruits like cherries, apricots or raisins add sweetness to every bite. Try tossing a few into the mix if you have them on hand.

Tomatillo-Scallop Ceviche

This refreshing ceviche is just the thing to highlight bright summer flavors. The fresh scallops, with their mild sweetness, make an ideal canvas for the zesty lime juice and the smoky, charred tomatillos.

Get the Recipe: Tomatillo Scallop Ceviche

Tomatillo-Scallop Ceviche

Charred and blended tomatillos make a smooth, slightly sweet sauce for tender scallops. A squeeze of fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro will balance the smokiness of the tomatillo char.

Zucchini Panini

These hearty panini would be perfect as a vegetarian option at a backyard barbecue. When thinly sliced, zucchini can be treated just like chicken, steak or even deli meat.  

Get the Recipe: Zucchini Panini

Zucchini Panini

Don't be surprised if even meat lovers flock to these rich panini. Buttery strips of grilled zucchini, topped with gooey Havarti cheese and briny Kalamatas, create a multisensory effect that's hard to resist.

Easy Pickled Jalapenos

Homemade pickled jalapenos are a treat to have on hand for chilis, tacos, salads and sandwiches. Instead of boiling the peppers, pour a hot brine over them — it creates a pleasant, fresh crispness instead of the soft texture of the store-bought variety.

Get the Recipe: Easy Pickled Jalapenos

Easy Pickled Jalapenos   

Peppercorns and fragrant coriander seeds add spice and flavor to this tangy condiment. Once the jalapenos are jarred, allow them to sit and soak up the flavor. Remember that the longer they sit, the more they will soften.

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