Last Call: 6 Things You Have to Make Before Summer’s Over
While you can’t bottle those blink-and-you-miss-them summer moments for when the sun stops setting at 9 p.m. and your favorite ice cream stand has “gone fishing” for another season, you can make the most of them while there’s still time. For us, that particularly applies to cooking with all of the in-season produce we can get our hands on. Here are six must-make recipes to add to your end-of-summer list before it’s too late.
Ina Garten combines bright, bursting-with-flavor heirloom tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves for the best no-lettuce salad (pictured above) you’ll have all summer. Once you’ve arranged your ingredients on a serving plate, drizzle them with olive oil, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Perfection.
Sick of giving everything grill marks yet? Good, neither are we. Marinate slices of fresh zucchini and squash in a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar and fresh herbs up to a day ahead of time, then toss them on the grill whenever you’re ready for an easy crowd-pleasing side.
Giada De Laurentiis gives your favorite summer beer a shandy-style twist by mixing it with peach nectar, homemade ginger simple syrup and a few slices of perfectly juicy peaches. Late-summer happy hour never looked so good.
Don’t be intimidated by these big, beautiful freeform slab pies. Just stock up on peak produce, like nectarines and raspberries or peaches and blackberries, roll up those sleeves, and start baking. Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to give your pie an extra-patriotic look just in time for a Labor Day picnic, and don’t forget to preheat your baking sheet (or pizza stone) before sliding it into the oven for a crisp, flaky crust.
Add in-season bell peppers to a classic cookout slaw for an extra bit of brightness and some snap. Pick your favorite color, or add a mix of red, orange and yellow peppers (cut into thin strips), for a side from Food Network Magazine that’s as good-looking as it is delicious.
By this point, you should be picking up what we’re putting down, but if you aren't, we’ll leave you with this: Get your fill of fresh berries while you still can. Top your morning yogurt with them, bake them into pies, pop them into your mouth fresh from the colander and definitely find ways to mix them into drinks — you won’t regret it. Ree Drummond uses blueberries to make a simple syrup that’s a refreshing, family-friendly addition to lemonade. If you’re feeling boozy, Bobby Flay kicks up his homemade blackberry tea with a shot of bourbon and some fresh mint.