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What could be more summery than grilled peppers and squash heaped on toasted country bread that's slathered with fresh basil pesto? This versatile recipe works as a first course or even a whole meal.

Grilling zucchini and summer squash ribbons on skewers is terrific because the edges become wonderfully charred and crisp, while the insides stay tender and juicy.

Chopped red, green and orange tomatoes are tossed with olive oil and herbs, then served on Parmesan tuiles. The result: a supremely colorful, incredibly easy hors d'oeuvre.

In this play on nachos, chef Gonzalo Martinez tops a chunky guacamole with gooey melted cheese.

Switzerland has been making Sbrinz—a hard, aged, cow's-milk cheese—for centuries. Daniel Humm uses the pleasantly salty Sbrinz to top a gratin made with a ratatouille-like mix of sautéed zucchini strips, bell peppers and tomato. Parmigiano-Reggiano, another hard, aged, cow's milk cheese, is a fine substitute.

Aguachile (chile water) is a vibrant sauce made with fresh chiles, herbs and cucumbers that’s fantastic on any type of fish or shellfish. Chef David Goody serves aguachile with thinly sliced scallops that have been just cured in fresh lime juice.

Vietnamese summer rolls are often filled with or shrimp, but Grace Parisi makes hers with roast beef from the deli.

James Holmes grew up in Texas but didn't learn how to make pickled shrimp, a Gulf specialty, until he took a job at a New York City restaurant.

Ana Sortun tops stuffed zucchini with a tangy sauce of feta, olive oil and Hungarian peppers (spicy wax chiles). To make it even easier, top the roasted zucchini with a little feta, then broil briefly.

Wedge salad (iceberg lettuce with blue cheese dressing and bacon) is a classic American dish. Here, James Holmes, chef of Austin's Olivia restaurant, reconfigures it as a playful cocktail snack.

This is Greek salad perfection: Michael Psilakis tops warm bread with garlicky red-pepper tzatziki (cucumber-yogurt spread) and a piquant combo of cucumbers, olives, peperoncini, tomatoes, radishes, greens and feta. It's stellar with homemade ladopsomo bread and yogurt, but equally good with store-bought.

These crisp, light fritters taste like nothing but fresh lobster and sweet corn.

Faux cheeses made with nuts are key to vegan cooking. To stuff these involtini, chef Sean Baker re-creates the flavor of ricotta by combining pureed raw cashews with nutritional yeast, which has a very savory, almost cheese-like flavor and is available at well-stocked specialty and natural food stores.

Inspired by an Italian Caprese salad, this tomato salsa is full of calcium-rich cheese. It's so chunky it could be eaten on its own with a fork, but it's also wonderful with shredded chicken.

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