31 Recipes to Make in July
Chilled Avocado Soup with Crab
At their San Antonio restaurant, Mixtli, 2017 BNCs Rico Torres and Diego Galicia serve this zesty, creamy cold soup as a refreshing beginning course to their Michoacán tasting menu. That region is the largest and most important avocado producer in Mexico, so this dish is a fitting start to the meal.
Burrata Salad with Peaches, Pickled Pepper and Pea Tendrils
This summery salad from chef Ori Menashe (BNC 2015) will become your go-to this season. It’s sweet and savory, tart, crisp and creamy, rich and refreshing, all in perfect balance.
Cucumber-Avocado Salad with Gooseberry Piri Piri Soup
2019 BNC Kwame Onwuachi’s bright, summery salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, gooseberries, avocado, and mint might seem simple at first, but stand back. With its Trinidadian Green Seasoning (which delivers a sinus-clearing wallop of fresh ginger and fruity aromatics from the Scotch bonnet chiles) and an addictive, tangy, gazpacho-like Gooseberry Piri Piri (you will want to drink a basin of it), this 30-minute recipe is one of the best things we’ve eaten this year. Serve very cold.
Charred Cucumber Panzanella with Grilled Steak
A crusty, high-quality sourdough will stand up to the seeded salsa verde here and keep the bread from disintegrating. Chef Caroline Glover, a 2019 BNC, uses cucumbers from Row 7, a co-op of chefs and plant breeders; you can order the seeds at row7seeds.com. Persian cucumbers, which are more widely available, are a great substitute.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pickled Peach-Fennel Salad
Punchy rémoulade cuts through the richness of the crispy buttermilk fried chicken, which is served over a salad of pickled fennel and peaches in this recipe from Top Chef Season 16 winner Kelsey Barnard Clark. Seek out underripe, firmer peaches for the salad—they’ll hold up to the pickling best.
No summer picnic is complete without these effortless sandwiches from 2007 Best New Chef Gabriel Rucker, the genius behind Portland knockouts Le Pigeon, Canard, and Little Bird Bistro. Best-quality baguettes get a thick slather of butter and goat cheese, dollops of jewel-toned Blueberry-Beaujolais Jam, and ribbons of salty prosciutto. Wrap these sandwiches in plastic wrap and stash in the top of your cooler for a perfect lunch on a sunny Saturday.
Maine-Style Lobster Rolls
Mary-Frances Heck refers to these lobster rolls as “knuckle sandwiches” because they showcase the knuckles—the segments that connect the claws to the carapace—which are the sweetest, most tender meat on a lobster.
Next-Level Turkey Burgers with Lemon Aioli
In this recipe from Dan Kluger (BNC 2012), a quick brine produces super-moist burgers with chin-dripping juices. The brining also helps the burgers cook faster, so flip them often to help them cook evenly and prevent charring.
Crispy Crab Cakes with Tomato Butter
The late chef Patrick Clark’s crab cakes at Tavern on the Green were legendary, taking on a pop of flavor from chopped fresh jalapeño and a crispy exterior from panko. Chopped whitefish provides the structure in these crab cakes, offering more flavor and a richer texture than traditional binders like breadcrumbs. Look for plastic tubs of jumbo lump crabmeat; it’s fresh and unpasteurized with the cleanest taste and best texture. If whitefish is unavailable, substitute sea bass or cod.
Jerk-Smoked Duck with Peach Barbecue Sauce
2019 Best New Chef Bryan Furman’s method of smoking the duck over a drip pan is quick and efficient, infusing the duck with intense smoky flavor in only 30 minutes without toughening the meat. The combination of jerk seasoning and peach-sweetened barbecue sauce is also a great match for grilled chicken halves.
Pan-Seared Bass with Garlic Scape Salmoriglio
Salmoriglio is a traditional Southern Italian sauce, and its pungent, acidic, herbal bite complements sweet summer tomatoes and light striped bass in this recipe from Jody Adams (BNC 1993). Substitute the bass with another sweet, mildly fatty fish; too rich of a fish will overpower the sauce and potatoes.
Scallop Crudo with Mango and Pomegranate
2019 BNC Paxx Caraballo Moll uses lemon, lime, and orange along with mango and pomegranate for a huge hit of tropical fruit flavor that skews savory thanks to chopped white onion and serrano chile. The sweet, vegetal balance complements fresh raw diver scallops.
Soba Bukkake with Chashu Pork and Sesame Vinaigrette
This Soba Bukkake with Chashu Pork and Sesame Vinaigrette recipe from 2019 F&W Best New Chef Mutsuko Soma features chilled soba noodles with just a splash of rich broth, called mentsuyu, in the bottom of the bowl.
Spaghetti with Squash Blossom Butter and Summer Beans
2005 F&W Best New Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson adds a generous amount of crisp green and wax beans to this light summer pasta for crunch and body, so the dish uses fewer noodles.
Grilled Corn with Nasturtium Emulsion and Flowers
F&W Best New Chef 2017 Jay Blackinton, of Hogstone’s Wood Oven on Orcas Island, Washington, emulsifies fresh nasturtium leaves with mustard, apple cider vinegar and oil to form a bright and supergreen-tasting spread for sweet grilled corn. For a most stirking presentation, he sprinkles edible flowers and herbs on the corn as well.
Strawberry Granita with Sweet Pesto
Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson pairs a subtly tangy berry granita with honey-sweetened pesto in this refreshing summer dessert. Choose the sweetest, juiciest berries for the most flavorful granita.
Blackberry and Mascarpone Crêpe Cake
Crêpes and blackberries go well together, Gail Simmons says, “especially in July when the berries are at their peak and a lazy weekend morning spent flipping crêpes yields enough for my new favorite cake, layered with rich mascarpone whipped cream, tart berries, and a little lemon zest.”
Frozen Honeydew Basil Margaritas
This riff on a classic margarita combines white tequila and fresh lime juice with chunks of frozen honeydew melon and a quick, brightly flavored sweet basil puree.
Layered Blackberry-and-Turmeric Lemonade
This spritzy, summery drink from Julia Momose of Kumiko, Kikkō, and Oriole in Chicago is a showstopper with its distinct pink and yellow layers.
Summer Peach and Blackberry Galette
“What I love about galettes is that they’re so user-friendly,” says chef Katie Button, a BNC in 2015. “No matter how you fold or crimp them, they always look beautiful; in fact the more rustic they look, the prettier they seem to be.”
Lemongrass Skirt Steak Skewers
In this recipe from 2020 BNC Donny Sirisavath, using flat skewers helps the meat char and cook evenly by curbing any rolling around the grill. Be sure to preheat the grill; high, even heat will help guarantee strong grill marks and will caramelize the sugars in the marinade.
Summer Crab Carbonara with Lemons and Capers
2020 BNC Douglass Williams’ method for carbonara allows you to hold the cooked pasta before adding it to the garlic–oil–pasta cooking liquid emulsion. It makes for a simple, creamy carbonara without the stress.
Sweet Corn Succotash with Shiitakes and Sugar Snaps
This bright, buttery succotash by Katy Sparks (BNC 1998) is a perfect summer side dish that comes together in minutes. “My inspiration for this dish is to take a fresh look at an American classic, succotash, which is usually sweet corn cooked together with lima beans or other green beans,” Sparks says. “I like to lighten it up with summery snap peas and add meaty shiitakes for depth of flavor.”
Fairy Tale Eggplant with Crispy Shallots and Thai Dressing
Chef Joe Ogrodnek (BNC 2014) pulls out all the stops with this next-level eggplant dish. First he seasons the eggplant and lets it sit before charring on the grill to draw out moisture and add flavor from the inside out. Then he adds plenty of crispy-crunchy texture to the silky grilled eggplant by stuffing each one with peanuts, fried shallots and garlic, fresh herbs, onions, and radishes before drizzling the punchy dressing on top.
Grilled Chicken with Banana Pepper Dip and Fattoush
2001 BNC Anita Lo’s 2018 cookbook SOLO celebrates the joy of cooking for one, just like this weeknight-friendly chicken recipe with a twist. “The banana pepper dip in this recipe is perhaps my favorite recipe that my partner’s mother Bonnie Attea makes,” Lo says. “It’s a three-ingredient wonder that makes a weeknight chicken breast exciting. Banana peppers can vary on the heat scale so taste a little before mixing, and mitigate with a little cayenne per your taste.”
Hanger Steak with Kimchi Glaze and Miso Butter–Grilled Vegetables
This summer cookout showstopper by 2016 BNC Ravi Kapur, owner of Liholiho Yacht Club in San Francisco, is your umami-packed, Hawaiian-inspired answer to grilling monotony. The glaze comes together quickly, and layers tart pineapple and tangy kimchi onto juicy hanger steak as it grills.
This side dish from Anne Quatrano (BNC 1995) celebrates the best of summer with a combination of chilled gazpacho and chunky, fresh vegetables.
Shrimp-and-Okra Kebabs with Grilled Peaches and Jalapeño-Bourbon Vinaigrette
A splash of bourbon in the vinaigrette adds a sweet, boozy kick of flavor and helps tenderize the shrimp in 2008 BNC chef Sue Zemanick’s shrimp and okra kebabs. Cutting okra in half lengthwise keeps it big enough to skewer and get charred and crispy on the grill, without falling through the grates.
Manila Clams with Shiro Dashi and Basil
Clams are often covered and gently steamed until they open. Here, 2020 BNC Trigg Brown cooks them uncovered over high heat to coax steam from the cooking liquid and concentrate its flavor at the same time. The result: tender, juicy clams with a rich, reduced broth in only 15 minutes.
Summer Squash Gratin
Laura Rege puts abundant summer squash and zucchini to good use in this beautiful and very simple gratin, which gets fantastic flavor from white wine, leeks and Gruyère cheese.
Labneh Panna Cotta with Orange Blossom Granita
This dessert from 2020 BNC Lena Sareini is all about contrast—in temperature, texture, and flavor. Smooth and creamy panna cotta is paired with a lightly floral, lightly sweet granita for an icy, cool bite. A base of tangy, tart apricot jam and a garnish of crispy crumbled toasted baguette finishes off each plate.