Even though summer vacation may be gradually winding down, you don’t have to cash in on your favorite summertime flavors just yet! In fact, now is the perfect time to change up your sunny-day staples and throw some excitement their way (and yours)? The best part? Well you don’t even have to be an award-winning chef to do so! All you’re going to need is a little bravery and creativity. To help you out, we have gathered six sun-inspired recipes to keep your August plates fresh and fun. Whether you’re hosting a garden party in your backyard, packing for a riverside picnic or the last trip up to the lake house—we’ve got all the warm-weather ingredients you’ll need to beat those end-of-summer blues.
Grilled Peach Caprese Salad with Blackberry Balsamic
This recipe from Erica at The Crumby Kitchen creatively transforms a traditional Italian salad by combining some fresh peaches, burrata, basil, and blackberry balsamic into a perfect summer day appetizer!
- 1 Basil, Fresh leaves
- 1 1/2 cups Blackberries, fresh
- 2 Freestone peaches, cut into ½ inch slices
- 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
Oils & Vinegars
- Olive oil for brushing
Bread & Baked Goods
- 1 Baguette, sliced into ½ inch slices
- 2-4 oz Burrata balls (or fresh mozzarella slices)
1 cup Water
- Lightly brush grill with olive oil, then preheat on medium flame. Brush both sides of peach slices with olive oil.
- Place peach slices on grill, grilling each side for 1½-2 minutes, until grill marks appear. Place on paper towel-lined plate to cool.
- Brush baguette slices with olive oil on both sides. Grill each side for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Place water and blackberries in a small saucepan set over high heat. Bring to a boil, macerating berries with a potato masher or back of a large spoon. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 7-10 minutes.
- Set a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl. Pour berry sauce through strainer, pressing the solids to extract all the juice. Discard solids and return juice to saucepan.
- Place saucepan back on heat and add balsamic vinegar. Allow to boil 5 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce has reduced and thickened. Cool and pour into a small bottle or jar.
- Arrange peach slices and basil leaves alternately in a semi-circle on a plate. Place a ball of burrata in the middle, then drizzle with blackberry balsamic. Serve with grilled baguette slices.
Summer Chopped Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette
With grilled chicken, grilled corn, fresh cherries, blueberries, and avocado tossed together to create standard salad fare and a tangy lime vinaigrette – you can create a crunchy Summer Chopped Salad that’s perfect for any meal. Quick, easy and healthy—an unbeatable combination if you ask me.
- 2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped
- 2 ears grilled corn, cut off cob
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
- 2 radishes, chopped or sliced
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 3/4 cup fresh cherries, halved
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cucumber, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 4-6 fresh basil leaves
- Sea salt, to taste
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
Honey Lime Vinaigrette
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons oil (we used avocado)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- Season and grill your chicken and corn on the cob. Allow to cool enough to be handled, then cut the kernels off the corn cob and chop the chicken breasts.
- While chicken and corn are cooling, chop the rest of your vegetables. In a large salad bowl, mix chicken, all chopped fruit and vegetables, and basil together well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then toss thoroughly.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together lime juice, honey, oil, vinegar, and red pepper (if using.) Pour over salad, then toss again to coat. Sprinkle salad with feta cheese, then serve.
Photos & Recipes provided by Erica @ The Crumby Kitchen
Teriyaki Chicken Tacos With Grilled Pineapple Pear Salsa
Get ready to fire up your grill for some Teriyaki Chicken Tacos smothered in a salty sweet teriyaki sauce and piled high with sweet and smoky Grilled Pineapple Pear Salsa. And it doesn’t even end there. This dish gives a whole new meaning to summer lovin’ with it’s silky Pineapple Lime Crema drizzle. This recipe from Jen at Carlsbad Cravings is perfect for hosting guests in your home or for an everyday easy meal.
- 1 1/2 lbs Chicken breasts, boneless skinless
- 1/2 tbsp Lime juice
- 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
- 1 Mccormick grill mates 7 spice teriyaki single use marinade
- 1 Recipe grilled pineapple pear salsa
Pasta & Grains
- 1 1/4 cups Rice, cooked
Bread & Baked Goods
- 4 Flour tortillas
- 2 cups Montery jack cheese
- 5 1/3 oz Pineapple yogurt
Grilled Pineapple Pear Salsa Ingredients
- 1/2 ripe pineapple, trimmed and sliced into 1/2″ rounds
- 1 large medium-firm pear, sliced into 1/4” slices
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
- 1/2 small red onion, peeled and cut in half (so you have 2 quarters of whole onion)
- 1 whole jalapeno
- 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Chicken Marinade:
- Reserve 1/4 cup Teriyaki Marinade for after grilling. Pound chicken to an even thickness and poke several times on each side with a fork. Add chicken to a large freezer bag or shallow dish and add remaining Teriyaki Marinade; toss to evenly coat chicken. Marinate 30 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
For the Grilled Pineapple Pear Salsa:
Meanwhile prepare Salsa according to directions. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Grease grill and heat to medium high heat.
- Drizzle red onions with olive oil and thread onto a skewer (if using a wooden skewer, soak skewer in water for at least 30 minutes beforehand). Drizzle pears, red bell pepper quarters, and jalapeno with olive oil to lightly coat.
- Working in batches as needed depending on grill size, grill pineapple and vegetables at medium high heat (uncovered) until tender crisp and lightly charred all over, about 12 minutes for the onions, turning occasionally, about 8-10 minutes for the pineapple, or until caramelized, flipping once, 6 minutes for the red bell peppers, flipping once, 4 minutes for the pears, flipping once, and jalapeno for 3-5 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Once cool enough to handle, dab (or rinse) off any excess oil with paper towels and chop pineapple (cutting around core), pears, red bell peppers, and onions. Devein and de-seed jalapeno and dice, reserving some of the seeds if desired.
- Reserve the jalapeno and toss the pineapple, pears, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, ginger, cumin and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Add half of the jalapeno and more to taste if desired. If you would like it spicier, add some of the jalapeno seeds to taste as well.
- Can be served immediately or even better chilled.
For the Pineapple Lime Crema:
Meanwhile, whisk all of the Pineapple Lime Crema ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- 3 oz pineapple yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 tablespoon lime juice (or more to taste)
Chicken Grilling Directions: If chicken has been refrigerated, let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes (time permitting). Meanwhile, grease and preheat grill to medium heat, 375-450°F.
Grill chicken undisturbed for for 6-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. (An inserted thermometer should read 155 degrees F.) Remove chicken from grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing into thin strips.
Assemble: Toss chicken strips in reserved 1/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce until evenly coated. Divide rice evenly among tortillas followed by cheese. Melt cheese on rice in the microwave or stovetop then top with Teriyaki Chicken followed by Grilled Pineapple Pear Salsa. Drizzle with Pineapple Lime Crema.
Photo & Recipe provided by Jen @ Carlsbad Cravings
Grilled Lime Butter Salmon
This Lime Butter Salmon in Foil with Summer Veggies from Alyssa at The Recipe Critic is grilled to tender and flaky perfection—guaranteed to have your mouth watering in seconds! The purpose of the foil is to seal in the lime butter flavor, so that everything stays as robust and flavorful as possible.
Gluten free, Paleo
- 4 Salmon, fillets
- 1 lb Asparagus
- 1 Lime, zest of
- 1 Lime
- 1 Parsley, fresh
- 1 Red onion, small
- 2 Yellow squash, small
- 2 Zucchini, small
- 1 tbsp Lime juice
Baking & Spices
- 1 Red pepper
- 1 Salt and pepper
6 tbsp Butter
- Start by heating grill to a medium heat (~400). Cut 4 sheets of heavy duty foil, enough to wrap the salmon and veggies. Place salmon in the center of the aluminum foil and divide the veggies into each packet.
- Next, in a small bowl add melted butter, lime juice, and zest of lime and mix. Pour evenly into each packet. Add lime wedge in each packet and bring up 2 sides of foil over salmon so the edges meet. Seal edges, making tight ½-inch fold; fold again, allowing space for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal.
- Place salmon packets onto grill and grill for 13-15 minutes flipping at about half way through.
- To serve carefully open packets and garnish with parsley.
Notes: Bake for a total of about 25 minutes, or until Salmon is fully cooked.
Photo & Recipe provided by Alyssa @ The Recipe Critic
Zucchini Cakes with Lemon Mint Aioli
These Zucchini Cakes with Lemon Mint Aioli from Lauren at Ditch the Recipe are playful yet sophisticated, and bursting with summer flavors. A perfect meal if you’re looking to use up some of that summer produce!
For the cakes
- 2 large zucchini
- 1 russet potato
- 1/2 onion
- fresh parsley, chopped
- fresh thyme, chopped
- salt and pepper
- garlic powder
- 1/2 cup oat flour (or whatever flour you want)
- 1/2 cup Italian panko bread crumbs + extra to coat cakes
- 2 eggs
- coconut oil for frying
For the lemon mint aioli
- greek yogurt
- lemon zest
- lemon juice
- fresh mint, chopped
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- First, make the aioli by combining all ingredients to taste. I used a 1 to 1 ratio of the mayo to Greek yogurt. Store in the fridge.
- Trim the ends of the Zucchini and grate it. You can use a cheese grater or a food processor to do this.
- Transfer the grated zucchini to a large mixing bowl. Peel and grate the potato and add to the bowl. Finely dice the onion and add to the bowl. Stir veggies well with your hands and transfer to a runway of paper towels and squeeze as much liquid out as possible.
- Once dry, transfer the vegetable mixture back into the mixing bowl. Beat eggs in a separate bowl and add to mixture. Add all remaining ingredients (besides the oil) and mix with hands until the texture holds its shape when you form patties. Add more bread crumbs, if necessary.
- Place the mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes to make it easier to form the patties. I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup to shape the patties, but you can use your hands, as well.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat coconut oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, place the patties in the pan and cook until a golden brown crust forms. Flip and do the same on the other side.
- Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet and transfer the cakes onto it. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Photo & Recipe provided by Lauren Regnier @ Ditch the Recipe