20 Gorgeous Ways to Use Summer Produce
There's just something about summer produce—it's delicious, yes, but it's also bright, colorful, and absolutely beautiful. From fresh strawberry pies and sweet blueberry cupcakes to savory corn pizzas and dazzling peach salads, make your summer stunning with 20 of our most gorgeous recipes.
This salad is a delightfully unexpected way to use the fresh rhubarb and berries that are just coming into season. The dressing on this bright, beautiful salad is a happy meeting between sweet and tart flavors, the almonds add a nice crunch for variety of texture, and a hint of mint makes a fresh dish feel even more so.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pretzel Pie
Remember that strawberry-pretzel salad that showed up at every church supper? We’ve turned it into your new favorite pie with a salty-sweet pretzel crust and added zip from rhubarb. We all love our classic desserts, but sometimes it is fun to change them up a bit and create something new. The frozen strawberries used in the traditional recipe are fine if it is the middle of winter but, since plump, fresh berries available at the Farmers’ Market, we thought they would make a delicious change to this pie.
Make Perfect Peach Hand Pies in an Air Fryer
Perfectly flaky pies from your air fryer? You bet! Store-bought piecrust is a smart shortcut; it bakes up nice and flaky in the air fryer. Naturally, fresh peaches will make the best filling, but you can use thawed frozen peaches if the fresh kind aren’t in season. Don’t toss out the leftover peach juice—simmer it down in a small saucepan until thickened for a fantastic ice cream topper.
Tomato, Basil, and Corn Pizza
A sprinkling of cornmeal keeps the dough from sticking to the pizza stone and gets the bottom of the crust extra crispy. If you don't have a rectangular pizza stone, use a heavy baking sheet instead. Serve with a green side salad for a winning weeknight combination.
Thyme-Scented Blueberry Pie
Flavored with thyme and lemon and packed with juicy whole berries, this pie earned rave reviews in our Test Kitchen, especially when made with in-season fruit. Our secret? Quick-cooking tapioca, which makes the filling firm but not gelatinous. Mixing the tapioca with a cup of mashed blueberries ensures that the thickener will distribute evenly and not form clumps in the filling.
Peach-Vanilla Slab Pie
The next time you need a dessert for a crowd--backyard barbecue, picnic, block party--think slab pie. You'll need to roll the dough out so that it's very thin; to make this easier, you can roll it out on parchment paper and place the whole thing, including the paper, in the pan.
Served hot or at room temperature, nothing says summer like a fresh fruit cobbler. When the dish first comes out of the oven, the fruit juice will be a little thin, but it will thicken as the cobbler sets and cools down. Peaches and blackberries come together in this easy to assemble recipe, but feel free to substitute your favorite berries or stone fruits. You can make the crumble topping mix ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.
Blueberry-Peach Upside Down Cake
This stunning upside-down cake is the perfect, easy dessert to showcase your bounty of summer fruit. The cake is tender and moist, with just enough of a delightful toothy texture from the incorporation of cornmeal into the batter. You’ll want to use juicy, ripe blueberries and peaches for best results; however, you could use frozen fruit in a pinch.
Peach and Celery Salad
The flavors of peach and celery meld beautifully in this no-cook side, while pistachios amp up the crunch factor. Colorful and healthy, summer recipes don't get better than this.
Chicken and Bulgur Salad With Peaches
A quick-cooking whole grain, bulgur is perfect for time-crunched weeknight cooking. If you can’t find it on the grains aisle, you can substitute quinoa or whole-wheat couscous.
Blueberry Sorbet “Cupcakes”
These sweet “cupcakes” made of fresh blueberry sorbet are a delightful, cooling lemon-berry treat with a cookie crunch on the bottom and fluffy whipped cream on top. They’re the perfect dessert for any summer gathering. The cupcakes can be made well in advance, simply top with fresh whipped cream right before serving.
Tomato, Peach, and Corn Salad
The summer's favorite produce is compiled together to create this vibrant and beautiful salad. The salad is tossed in a sweet and savory honey vinaigrette and topped with feta for a stunning finish.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Some would say you haven’t truly embraced spring until you’ve made our Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, and we’d be inclined to agree. It’s a simple dessert that relies on the inherent synergy of its ingredients: rhubarb’s bright tang matched with jammy strawberry sweetness, accented by a delicate touch of cardamom, ginger, and orange zest.
Grilled Pizza with Summer Veggies and Smoked Chicken
Make a grilled pizza just once, and you will fall in love with the ease and versatility of this easy dinner choice. Whether you have leftover baked chicken, a little bit of last night’s shredded bbq pork, or a surplus of garden vegetables, with a little imagination you can create a fabulous grilled pizza.
Golden Beet and Roasted Strawberry Salad
Earthy beets and sweet berries are a lovely match. Roasting the berries softens them and concentrates their flavor, so they taste like strawberries intensified by a factor of 10.
Steamed Shrimp and Watermelon Salad
How gorgeous is this colorful salad? Steaming the shrimp helps prevent overcooking and keeps it succulent. Watermelon makes a surprisingly good pairing.
Sriracha-Lime Grilled Watermelon
This Insta-worthy side is prepped on the grill. If you're not into grilled watermelon, you could forgo the grilling and just sprinkle the seasonings on raw watermelon. This recipe also works well with jicama.
Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
A Caprese salad—tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella cheese—is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to show off peak-season Southern-grown tomatoes. Give this salad a fun new look by using a mix of multicolored cherry tomatoes and small fresh mozzarella balls (also called “bocconcini”) tossed in a simple vinaigrette.
Easy Blackberry Cobbler
Rather than breaking a sweat over the perfect pie crust and lattice top for your farmers' market blackberries, use them up in a hassle-free cobbler. All you need are fresh berries plus 5 more ingredients to whip up this Easy Blackberry Cobbler recipe. To make it special, top with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, and a mint garnish.
Puff Pastry Summer Fruit Shortcakes
These easy and impressive dessert stacks utilize the same almond-flavored marscarpone cream and macerated stone fruit that we use in this simple Puff Pastry Summer Fruit Slab Pie. However, rather than spreading the mixtures over a slab of baked puff pastry, you’ll be sandwiching them between cut, baked squares that stand in as an airy alternative to a traditional shortcake biscuits.