This season, we’re sipping blueberry margaritas, making grilled vegetable flatbreads, and digging in to summer crab carbonara.

By Food & Wine Editors
June 23, 2020
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The build-up to summer is always full of excitement. Dreams of warmer weather and grilling, cooling off in the pool, and of course, seasonal recipes, too. (Hello, tomatoes and juicy slices of watermelon.) Now that we're finally here, we asked our editors which dishes they're looking forward to making the most over the next few months. One plans on having a chile-coconut watermelon crudo on rotation; another has been whipping up a reliably delicious grilled chicken sandwich for years. There are 11 recipes total, including desserts, drinks, seafood, and more. Read on for everything we'll be enjoying all season long.

Chile-Coconut Watermelon Crudo

Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

“I’ve already made this chile-coconut watermelon crudo once, which is enough to know it will be on rotation throughout summer. It's at once sweet, salty, savory, and spicy and, if you think watermelon is already juicy, wait until you've tried it marinated. Bonus: The leftover marinade is an ideal cocktail mixer.” –Sarah Crowder, digital photo editor

Juicy Steak-and-Tomato Salad

Con Poulos

“This is the perfect hot summer night dinner and I love to improvise with whatever I have on hand, herbs-wise. The leftovers are even better, with all the flavors marinated together.” –Maria Yagoda, digital restaurant editor

Shawarma-Style Chicken and Mushroom Kebabs

Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling Heather Chadduck

“As soon as summer arrived in Birmingham, Alabama, where I live (which is to say, late February) I busted this recipe out. It's a little bit messy to make—stacking pounded, marinated chicken thighs onto skewers is a slippery business—but it's absolutely worth it. You end up with a shawarma-like roast that you shave with a knife, yielding the perfect mix of crispy charred bits and tender meat. It's fantastic with flatbread and some simply grilled veggies.” –Karen Shimizu, executive editor

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Remoulade and Shaved Lemon

© Pernille Pedersen

"I've been making these super simple, super delicious grilled chicken sandwiches for many years now up in Maine every summer. I've made them for four people; I've made them for 24 people (big family, what can I say?); they're a hit every single time. It's a recipe from all the way back in 2004, but who cares? Summer is summer. Start grilling.” –Ray Isle, executive wine editor

Lobster BLTs on Potato Rolls

Photo by Greg DuPree / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer

“These potato buns are toasted in bacon drippings. Toasted. In. Bacon. Drippings. Factor in the lobster and I’m 100 percent sold.” –Bridget Hallinan, digital reporter

Summer Crab Carbonara with Lemons and Capers

Michael Piazza

“I’m already a big fan of pasta, but this carbonara—'crabonara,' if you like—is especially magical. It’s simple, creamy, lemony, and briny, with pieces of sweet crabmeat packed into every bite. Better yet, it’s pretty easy to make, and you can have dinner ready in under an hour. I had it for the first time a few weeks ago, and I’m already planning round two.” –B.H.

Double Drive-Thru Veggie Burgers

DAVID CICCONI

“Frozen veggie burgers will work—kind of in the same way packaged guacamole works. It is certainly a foodstuff; that’s fair to say, but you know you can do better. I’m adding this veggie burger recipe to my summer to-do list along with “hanging with buds” and “doing nothing outside.” And honestly, if you’re having a super-lazy summer night and can’t be bothered with making the actual patties, just put the tangy tofu mayo on a packaged veggie burger, find a hammock, and call it day.” –Ryan Grim, executive digital editor

Grilled Vegetable Flatbread with Smoked Almond Muhammara

Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

“I can’t stop making this grilled vegetable flatbread with smoked almond Muhammara—grill up any fresh veggies that catch your eye at the farmer’s market, and use them to top warm bread slathered in a smoky almond spread. Pro tip: grill the flatbread and mix up the Muhammara ahead of time, so that you can get to work assembling as soon as the veggies finish on the grill. I had a little trouble finding smoky almonds at my nearby grocer, so I faked them using regular unsalted almonds and a drop or two of Liquid Smoke. The topping combinations are endless, and any leftover Muhammara you have is perfect with crudite.” –Caroline Schnapp, audience engagement editor

Giant Chocolate Cookie with Cacao Nibs and Flaky Salt

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

“In lieu of the old ice cream truck, I'm planning on making two of these chewy, gargantuan, chocolate-studded cookies, and sandwiching them between a pint or two of softened mint chocolate chip ice cream. Then I'll wrap in plastic and freeze until firm and cut up into an entire disc of ice cream sandwiches to eat and to share.” –Adina Steiman, deputy digital editor

Tomato Lemonade

© Fredrika Stjärne

“It may be arrogant of me to suggest one of my own recipes but 1. It’s the first recipe I ever had in Food & Wine. 2. Heirloom tomato season is a fleeting thing and you may as well get cracking on that early. 3. It’s reeeeaaaaalllly good. I’m a major lemonade freak and have a pitcher on hand for much of the summer. I was planning on making a big batch of white peach lemonade for a brunch guest, but the dang things didn’t ripen in time. I looked over at a pile of heirloom tomatoes and noticed that a few pale yellow ones were roughly the same color and hey—why not, it’s just lemonade. Hooboy, was this lemonade and beyond. This might sound like a funny flavor combo, but lemons work as flexibly with savory as they do sweet, and if you spike it all with a splash of rye, it’s a little like sipping the essence of your favorite summer sandwich in cocktail form. Should you care to embellish that with a garnish of herbs, you’re one step closer to seeing through the lemonade Matrix.” –Kat Kinsman, senior editor

Get the Recipe: Tomato Lemonade

Blueberry Margarita

TODD PORTER & DIANE CU

“Summer isn't really summer without a steady flow of margaritas, and I'm always trying new iterations on the classic. This bright blueberry version is as photogenic as it is tasty. It's perfect for sipping while flipping burgers on the grill.” –Megan Soll, associate digital editor

Get the Recipe: Blueberry Margarita