Ultimate Summer Vegetable Recipes
Pasta with Tomato and Black Olive Sauce
Barbara Lynch’s rustic pasta is very adaptable to whatever summer vegetables are at their peak. Here she uses tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash and eggplant.
Potato Salad with Green Beans and Salsa Verde
A terrific salsa verde makes this velvety potato salad extraordinary. Here the salsa is made with parsley and chives; try making it with other summer herbs, like tarragon or basil, as well.
Grilled Carrot Salad with Brown Butter Vinaigrette
Grilling concentrates the sweet flavor of fresh baby carrots. (Bagged “baby” carrots will never taste the same.) Bryce Gilmore marinates them, then tosses them with a wonderful and unusual dressing he makes by cooking butter until brown, then pureeing it with marcona almonds and sherry vinegar.
Tangy Green Zebra Gazpacho
Green Zebras are heirloom tomatoes with a striped pattern; they are sweet like red tomatoes but give this gazpacho a lovely jade hue. To make the chilled soup extra tangy, use tomatillos or unripe red tomatoes instead of Green Zebras.
Warm Corn Chowder Salad with Bacon and Cider Vinegar
In this riff on corn chowder, the Beekman boys toss corn, potatoes and bacon with cider vinegar. They grow at least five varieties of sweet corn each summer, and they’re always coming up with new ways to use it. Because the corn for this salad is barely cooked, it’s best to use the juiciest kernels available.
Greek-Style Tomato Salad with Mint and Feta
A classic Greek salad has tomatoes and feta; this version by chef Andrè Natera of Dallas’s Fairmont Hotel also takes advantage of the mint and arugula that grow so well in his roof garden.
Celery, Grilled Grape and Mushroom Salad
“Celery is a vegetable people either love or hate, and we try to get people to love all their vegetables,” says chef Amanda Cohen. She sets off celery’s bitterness and crunch with meaty oyster mushrooms and grapes that have been grilled until almost bursting.
Braised Cucumbers with Dill
Fresh cucumbers are excellent when gently braised in butter and served warm. This dish is best with thin-skinned cucumbers, like English, Japanese and Persian varieties.
Radishes with Sour Cream Dressing and Nigella Seeds
Crunchy black nigella seeds have a nutty, peppery flavor.
Green Bean Slaw
In this salad, tender haricots verts get tossed with crunchy strips of carrot, red pepper and parsnip. When TV personality Rachael Ray (who is originally from upstate New York) visited the Beekman farm, Lee Woolver made a version of this salad with bacon, but it’s just as delicious without.
Green Tomatoes with Pistachio Relish
Relishes typically contain cooked and pickled vegetables; the one here is mouth-tinglingly tangy. James Syhabout makes it by pickling shallots, capers, pistachios and pink peppercorns overnight in Champagne vinegar and olive oil. It’s awesome on tomatoes, but he also likes using it on fish.
Cucumber and Baby Pea Salad
This green salad contains no lettuce and no vinaigrette—just cucumbers, peas, parsley and basil in a tangy yogurt dressing.
Roasted Peppers with Leeks
This recipe calls for sweet bell peppers, but it’s also terrific with Gypsy peppers, a slender variety that comes in a range of flavors. “You play the pepper lottery,” Sheamus Feeley says. “Some Gypsies are hot, some sweet, and every now and then, one lights you up, it’s so fiery.”
Summer Farro Salad
Chef Marco Canora simmers farro in water with sautéed onion, carrots and celery. The aromatic vegetables add delicate flavor to the cooked grains.
Chilled Persian Yogurt Soup
“Ask anyone on my staff their favorite summer dish, and they’ll tell you it’s this one,” says Hoss Zaré. Filled with herbs, nuts and raisins, the soup is delicious with grilled bread.
Linguine with Tomatoes, Baby Zucchini and Herbs
“This dish makes you understand the less-is-more approach of Italian cooking,” says Andreas Viestad about his pasta tossed with a raw tomato-and-zucchini sauce.
These incredibly simple pickles have just the right amount of garlic and dill and are intensely crunchy and refreshing right out of the refrigerator.
Corn on the Cob with Seasoned Salts
“Walk to pick it, run to cook it,” was the mantra back in the days when corn turned starchy within hours of harvesting. New varieties stay sweet and tender longer. Flavoring the ears here is a trio of seasoned salts.
Green Beans with Eggs, Chiles and Cilantro
This Georgian dish, called lobio (bean dish), is typically served cool, but with its buttery scrambled eggs and tender green beans, it’s equally delicious hot. It’s great as part of a family-style menu and also makes an unusually tasty, light main course.
Baby Potato Salad with Radishes and Celery
Ethan Stowell lightens up traditional potato salad by adding plenty of radishes and celery and skipping the usual mayonnaise in favor of a Champagne vinaigrette.
Boston Lettuce with Cilantro and Walnuts
Katya Drozdova serves simple salads like this one at her Moscow restaurants. The combination of cilantro and walnuts is a distinctly Georgian touch.
Grilled Eggplant Salad with Walnuts
Terrific as a salad or a spread for flatbread, adzhapsandali is like a Georgian version of ratatouille. Grilling the eggplant gives the dish a luscious, smoky flavor.
Mushroom Kufteh with Green Harissa and Asparagus Pesto
Quinoa Salad with Grilled Scallions, Favas and Dates
“One thing I’ve learned as a chef is not to overfeed your customers—a food coma is very unpleasant,” says Charlie Parker. This salad of grilled vegetables feels just filling enough, thanks to the protein-rich quinoa and a puree of dates that are grilled first to soften them and intensify their natural sweetness.
Roasted Beet, Carrot and Scallion Skewers with Tarragon
“It may not be widely known, but we have olive growers in South Texas, and they’re making some great olive oil,” says James Holmes. He drizzles that local oil on this simple mix of grilled beets, carrots and scallions.
Spinach Fettuccine with Tangy Grilled Summer Squash
At her restaurant, Amanda Cohen tosses herb fettuccine with pickled squash blossoms and grilled zucchini. This simplified recipe features squash that’s pickled and then grilled, plus freshly sautéed squash.
Combining fresh tomato juice and orange juice, this cold soup was inspired by sangrita—the zippy Mexican drink typically served at bars as a tequila chaser. “I love how the tomato and orange juices combine to form an entirely new flavor,” Marcia Kiesel says. For fun, add a shot glass or two of silver tequila.
Beet Salad with Shiso
Try Chef Greg Baxtrom's beet and snow pea salad from the Olmstead in Brooklyn.