The end of summer can be bittersweet as we wave goodbye to seasonal ingredients that are at their peak. Join in our ultimate summer sendoff as we celebrate Labor Day with recipes starring a few of our favorite summer foods, from tomatoes and watermelon to corn and blueberries.
Photo: CN Digital Studio
Tomatoes are at the peak of their season and these plump, juicy, firm fruits not only taste great, but are great for you. They are packed with lycopene and Vitamin C. Tomatoes are also wonderful in a wide variety of preparations like soups, pizzas, salads, pastas, sandwiches, and sauces. But, we want you to tell us:
What is your favorite thing to cook with tomatoes?
Summer squash is one of the season’s most versatile veggies, pairing perfectly with your choice of char-grilled meats or seafood. This week, we’re rounding up a few of our favorite ways to celebrate all things fresh and flavorful.
#TomatoLove is trending this month on Twitter, as large, luscious tomatoes are blooming all over. To celebrate this beloved fruit, we’re rounding up a variety of tomato-inspired recipes to enjoy all summer long.
- For starters, try Naturally Ella’s Roasted Tomato and Corn Salsa (pictured above), which is made with cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, and cilantro.
- Chef Margo has modified a Spanish staple to include fresh fruit in Grilled Peach and Tomato Gazpacho.
- Oh Cake’s Spinach and Feta-Stuffed Tomatoes fills large, juicy tomatoes with spinach, Feta cheese, red onions, whole wheat breadcrumbs, and toasted pine nuts.
- Raymond Blanc’s Summer Tomato Tart stars halved cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and sliced black olives atop a buttery puff pastry crust.
- Pasta and tomatoes are a tried and true pair, so enjoy Gimme Some Oven’s Pasta with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Parmesan for a simple,well-seasoned pasta dish.
- Bake Your Day spices things up with Mexican Veggie Flatbread, a cheesy combo of pepper-Jack cheese, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, black beans, green peppers, and cilantro, all loaded stop flatbread smothered with avocado spread.
- The Breathing Kitchen’s Spring Bruschetta tops crunchy, toasted slices of bread with Fava beans, crushed tomatoes, and olive oil.
Photo: Romulo Yanes
We’ve officially entered the dog days of summer. Temperatures may be climbing higher, but there are plenty of tasty ways to keep cool. With frosty favorites like ice cream, lemonade, granitas, snow cones, sorbet, iced tea, smoothies, beer, and popsicles, there’s no shortage of cold concoctions to help you chill out on a hot day.
What’s your favorite thing to eat or drink to cool down?
One of my fondest family memories is of enjoying a bowl of mango and vanilla bean ice cream. The strong scent of vanilla paired with the perfectly ripe fruit makes for a seriously decadent dessert. Looking beyond the world of sweets, I’m finding inspiration for beating the heat with Chilled Mango and Cucumber Soup, a simple recipe that highlights the pure flavor of the fruit.
Next up, I’m turing to Mango Shrimp Summer Rolls that wrap layers of flavors—including mint, cilantro, and vermicelli noodles—inside rice paper rounds. The rolls are plunged into a sweet and tangy dipping sauce starring brown sugar and lime juice. But my mango-inspired feast wouldn’t be complete without a sweet finale in the form of Pineapple Chutney Dip with Walnuts, which is perfect served alongside crispy crackers or crunchy crudité.
What are your favorite ways to cook or bake with mango?
When it comes to summer cocktails, it’s hard to beat the dynamic duo of fresh fruit and your choice of sparkling wine. While mimosas have long ruled the brunch scene, I find it’s high-time we ignore the clock, pop the corks off our favorite bottles of Prosecco, Cava, or Champagne, and get mixing with the season’s bountiful selection of fruit.
My go-to combo has always been a simpler version of sangria that stars diced peaches, nectarines, apples, and oranges scooped inside a hefty glass and topped off with Cava for some full-blown fizz. The sweet and tangy notes collide for a seriously refreshing cocktail that can be enjoyed at brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Find inspiration for pairing fruit and sparkling wine with a few of our favorite Gourmet cocktail recipes below:
Photo: Romulo Yanes
Summer is in full swing and we are in the thick of grilling season. One of the most popular items to cook on the barbecue is a good, old fashioned hamburger. You can add some flair to this cookout classic with lettuce, tomato, salsa, red onion, bacon, blue cheese, avocado, cheddar, relish, or anything else you crave. But, we want you to tell us:
What are your favorite burger toppings?
This year’s summer concert season marks the 75th anniversary of the Tanglewood music festival held in the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts. The event’s venue is home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra as well as a wide variety of special events featuring luminaries from across the music industry, and we can think of no better place to picnic this season than Tanglewood’s sprawling lawn.
Gather your favorite foods to enjoy al fresco and head over to Tanglewood for a summer’s worth of all-star concerts and events, including:
- James Taylor will celebrate his 21st summer at Tanglewood with a series of concerts at the Koussevitzky Music Shed
- Acclaimed German pianist Gerhard Oppitz will play Brahms’s complete solo works for piano in the course of four recitals
- The Boston Pops Orchestra will appear with conductor Keith Lockhart in a special evening featuring Broadway star Bernadette Peters
Check out Tanglewood’s 75th anniversary page
for a full listing of events and to buy tickets, and then get cooking with a few of our favorite recipes for portable picnic fare:
Photo: Romulo Yanes
Summer has officially begun, and with the heat comes a bounty of fresh produce. With wonderful warm weather fruits and vegetables like strawberries, zucchini, cherries, tomatoes, watermelon, cucumbers, blueberries, corn, and peaches, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But, we want you to tell us:
What summer produce are looking forward to eating the most?
Photo: Sang An
It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy a picnic with friends and family. So, pack your baskets, blankets, and snacks and head to the park. With great grab-and-go grub like sandwiches, chips, fruit, cheese and crackers, salad, dips, and spreads, it’s hard not bring them all along. But, we want you to tell us:
What’s your go-to food to pack for a picnic?
I recently learned how to make incredibly flaky, tender pie crust, prompting me to confirm if practice really does make perfect. Armed with a rolling pin, I’ve been turning out crusts made of butter, lard, or shortening to bake a wide variety of pies just in time for summer’s fresh bounty of fruits.
I’m starting with Rhubarb and Bilberry Pie, where a traditional crust encases tart and refreshing rhubarb and small bilberries, a relative of the blueberry. The acidity of rhubarb is softened when stewed with the deep flavor of the tiny bilberries. Next, I’m tackling Lattice-Top Blackberry Pie that’s overflowing with plump berries and their tangy juices. And finally, I’m turning to the fruit I wait for all year: strawberries. Small, local strawberries will shine best in Fresh Strawberry Pie with Whipped Cream. These plump, fragrant berries shine like bright jewels in a crumbling, buttery shortbread cookie crust.
What’s your favorite fruit pie?
Farmer’s markets and supermarkets are filled with big, juicy, ruby red strawberries right now. They are at their peak of flavor, and, happily, at their cheapest. My kids eat about a pound of them a day, but when they get bored of eating them fresh from the container, these are my go-to strawberry recipes:
This week we’re rounding up our favorite creative takes on classic burgers, from Buffalo chicken to black bean and every taste in between. Fire up the grill (or grill pan) and prepare for a season’s worth of anything but simple sandwiches.
Photo: Romulo Yanes
Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, go for a swim, fire up the grill, and enjoy fresh seafood. With delicious options like salmon, tilapia, flounder, bass, halibut, cod, mahi-mahi, tuna, mackerel, and catfish, it’s hard to pick just one fish in the sea. But, we want you to tell us:
What’s your favorite fish to cook?
I’ll admit it. I’m not the best at making decisions, especially when it comes to matters of food. And when faced with a veritable buffet of ice cream flavors, I’m usually the annoying customer who greedily asks for her scoop in both a cup … and with a cone on top. Although I’ll remain forever loyal to my favorite flavors, the summer months present me with an opportunity to whip out my ice cream maker and get a bit eccentric.
When the heat is on, I keep it zen with a scoop of herb-infused Basil or Lemongrass Ice Cream. For something a bit heartier, leftover bacon does the trick when crumbled into a rich and smoky Bacon and Egg Ice Cream . Or if I’m really feeling extra daring, I’ll try earthy Porcini and Honey Ice Cream made with porcini power and thick drizzles of honey.
What’s the wackiest ice cream you’ve ever tried?
Grilling isn’t just for meat-lovers. Although burgers and steaks are best when kissed by the flames, who says veggies don’t deserve the same smoky treatment? I often surprise my guests by turning to the coals for every veggie from sweet potatoes to artichokes, tomatoes to scallions.
This holiday weekend I’m turning to Grilled Baby Artichokes with Caper-Mint Sauce, in which hot-off-the-grill artichokes are tossed in a fresh mint and briny caper vinaigrette. Next I’m opting for a sweeter side with Grilled Watermelon and Tomato Salad, in which charred watermelon is served in a yogurt dressing with heirloom tomatoes, crisp watercress, and fresh basil. And for a substantial side dish with a Mexican flare, I opting for Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette—a simple recipe with distinguished, fire-grilled flavor.
What vegetables do you like to grill?
Photo: CN Digital Studio
With fall creeping in, the time for fresh zucchini, watermelon, peaches, and blueberries is nearly gone. We’re enjoying all the juicy tomatoes we can before they’re gone for the season, but we want you to tell us:
Which summer food will you miss the most?
The latest issue of Gourmet Live is stretching the summer spirit and offering a serving of comfort amidst the impact of Hurricane Irene. Our resident ingredient guru Kemp Minifie shares her tips and tricks for preserving the season’s bounty (hint: freezing is cooler than canning). And guest columnist Garrett McCord shows us the true meaning of a “labor of love” this holiday weekend, as he tries to convert a moldy-cheese hater into a blue cheese lover.
It’s then time to hit the road for this month’s Gourmet Live & BlogHer Road Trip, which is bringing you the local’s guide to Chicago’s best pizza, hot dogs, pork chops, and more. We also make a stop at Penn State’s ice cream university for a candid chat with the program’s director, Dr. Robert F. Roberts. Gear up for a festive Labor Day with our Top 10 entertaining tips, and discover how design critic and guest columnist Alexandra Lange fell in love with the perfect fork.
You’ll find all of these stories and more in the latest issue of Gourmet Live
. And now we’re dishing out three times the App Exclusive content, so check out three full-length features from this week’s issue: