Summer brings its own unique set of situations when it comes to dinner. Produce is at its peak and we want to make the most of it while still taking weekend vacations, grilling with friends, and making weeknight dinners that sometimes need to be on the quick-and-easy side.
There are five essential recipes that will get you through most summer supper situations — the heat-wave weeknight dinners, the road-trip-ready meals, a great grilling recipe for guests, or a recipe that will use up the last of the zucchini. There's even a salad that will get you back in meal-planning mode after a long vacation.
Situations to Inspire Summer Suppers
Situational suppers are the recipes we reach for repeatedly throughout the summer to meet the specific needs and challenges the season brings. June to August seems more fleeting than any other time of the year, despite the longer days. Our desire to make the most of the farmers market, summer vacation, and warm days makes it seem like the clock ticks a little faster. With an eye on farmers market finds, these recipes make the most of summer produce while answering the question "What should I cook when ... ?"
It's Too Damn Hot to Cook
A cold noodle salad that requires only your two hands and a peeler. Not only is this recipe for no-chop cold veggie noodle bowls with soy lime vinaigrette a lazy-cook's dinner dream, but it will also serve you well in vacation rentals low on sharp knives.
I've Got Produce to Use Up
Throw those zucchini into a frittata, my friends. There's an easy formula to follow to make this one-pan cheese and vegetable frittata a weekly occurrence. This is a charming dinner alongside a salad and a glass of chilled prosecco, and the ideal beach-house brunch staple.
I Need a Jump-Start on Meal Prep Post-Vacation
Make a grilled chicken and chopped vegetable salad that will swing you right back into your weekly routine with the soothing zen of chopping snap peas and whisking together a vinaigrette. You can eat it right away to feel virtuous after your vacation indulgences, or pack it up for office lunches to last the week.
Friends Stop by for Dinner
Grilled grain bowls with succulent shrimp will persuade your guests to build their dinner and you'll only have to man the grill once. Use foil packets to prepare quick-cooking grains, summer vegetables, and juicy shrimp all at once so you can actually enjoy the company of your friends — even if they dropped by on a whim.
You're Hitting the Road, but Can't Clean the Kitchen Again
The answer is a vegetable sub layered with flavored cream cheese and jarred vegetables that you can eat posthaste or wrap up and take in the car or train, or even on the plane. This summer vegetable sub sandwich travels incredibly well and won't leave you with more than a cutting board, knife, and bowl to clean.