The season of fun in the sun may be coming to a close, but you still have time to make the most of the remaining warm days and end it with bang. We’ve compiled a list of 7 recipes that will give you one final taste of the beach, grill and summer nights. Spoilers: Fruit is a major player.
Pickled fruit rinds? Don’t keep scrolling, you read it right. With the acidic power of vinegar, you can transform would-be scraps, destined for the trash, into a crunchy and tart summer snack.
Watermelon Rind Pickles
Courtesy of Epicurious
- (1) 4-pound piece watermelon, quartered
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar
- 8 whole cloves
- 8 whole black peppercorns
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ teaspoon pickling spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- Cut watermelon pulp from rind, leaving a thin layer of pink on rind (reserve pulp for another use). Cut green outer skin from rind and discard. Cut enough rind into 1 x 1/2-inch pieces to measure 4 cups. Combine 8 cups water and 2 tablespoons salt in large pot; bring to a boil. Add rind pieces and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain. Transfer rinds to large metal bowl.
- Combine remaining 2 teaspoons salt, sugar and next 7 ingredients in a heavy large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour over watermelon rinds in a bowl. Place plate atop rinds to keep them submerged in pickling liquid. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours (or overnight).
Strain liquid from the rinds into a saucepan; bring to a boil. Pour over rinds. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Repeat straining and boiling of liquid and pour over rinds one more time. Can be made two weeks ahead. Chill in covered jars.
Sometimes, simple is superior. And when two of the four ingredients are peaches and balsamic vinegar, you can’t go wrong. The genius of this recipe is that the balsamic’s sugary and tart notes bring out the inherent sweetness of the peaches, leaving you with a dish that’s refreshing, balanced and au naturel.
Grilled Peaches with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar
Courtesy of The Framed Table
- fresh rosemary, chopped
- canola oil
- balsamic vinegar
- Cut each peach in half and remove pits. Brush the cut surfaces lightly with canola oil. Oil the grates on the grill and pre-heat to medium high. Place peach halves with their cut sides facing down and grill for five minutes. Flip peaches over and grill for another four minutes. Remove from grill and drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary and serve as a side dish to pork chops or as a simple dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
No matter the time of year, bruschetta is the perfect appetizer to give the façade of fancy without the fuss. This summertime take on a confirmed classic replaces the traditional mozzarella for cranberry goat cheese and tomatoes for a healthy dose of peaches and strawberries.
Summer Fruit Bruschetta
Courtesy of The Cookie Rookie
- 1 loaf French bread, cut into thin slices
- 10 strawberries, diced into small pieces
- 3 peaches, diced into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons raspberry white balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar)
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into small pieces
- 1 log of cranberry goat cheese
- Preheat oven to 350F. Place French bread on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes (until fully toasted).
- In a medium sized bowl, combine strawberries, peaches and balsamic vinegar. Spread cranberry goat cheese onto each slice of French bread.
- With a slotted spoon, place fruit mixture on each piece of French bread.
What can you do with watermelon? This interesting take on your traditional caprese salad answers that question in spades: You can grill it. The heat from the grill refines the watermelon and honey’s natural sweetness, creating a fresh take on this already fresh fruit.
Honey Grilled Watermelon Caprese Salad
Courtesy of how sweet it is
- 2 large, round watermelon slices, each cut into 4 triangles
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 pint of grape tomatoes, quartered
- 4 oz. of fresh mozzarella, cut in half or sliced
- 1 bunch of fresh basil leaves
- balsamic glaze (for drizzling)
- Preheat your grill to medium heat. Brush both sides of each watermelon triangle with olive oil and season all sides with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of honey over each triangle and place them on the grill, grilling each side for about 2 minutes. Remove and add a little more honey (if desired).
- Assemble salads by placing 2 watermelon triangles on each plate. Then, cover with a sprinkle of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves. Add some salt and pepper on top, then drizzle with balsamic glaze.
Fruit salad is synonymous with summer, and why not? The most vibrant food matches the most vibrant season. Fresh from the vine, this oldie but goodie recipe is enhanced even further with the inclusion of a stellar honey-lime dressing.
Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit Salad
Courtesy of Cooking Classy
- 1 lb. fresh strawberries, diced
- 1 lb. fresh pineapple, diced
- 12 oz. fresh blueberries
- 12 oz. red grapes, diced into halves
- 4 kiwis, peeled and diced
- (1) 15 oz. can mandarin oranges in juice, drained well and sliced into halves
- 2 ripe bananas, diced
Honey Lime Dressing
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tsp. lime zest (zest of 2 medium limes)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- Add all fruit to a large mixing bowl. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, lime zest and lime juice. Pour over fruit just before serving and toss to evenly coat (as it sits for a few minutes the juices will gather at the bottom, so toss again before plating).
- Add bananas last to avoid smashing them.
Not all summer dishes have to spend time on the grill. This easy to make recipe only requires five ingredients and 30 minutes on the stove, yielding an all-inclusive meal that can be packaged for enjoyment later on in the week.
Tomato and Artichoke Chicken
Courtesy of Ancestral Nutrition
- 1 lb. chicken thighs
- (1) 8 oz. jar artichoke hearts
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 cloves garlic
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Add all ingredients except garlic to the pan.
- Cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Add garlic at the end so it doesn’t burn.
Get one more taste of the sun and sea with this coconut and pineapple-based dish. Savory coconut cream and sugary pineapple sweet chili sauce come together with shrimp to make a glazed main dish that will tide you over until the next summer season.
Grilled Coconut and Pineapple Sweet Chili Shrimp
Courtesy of closetcooking
For the Coconut and Pineapple Sweet Chili Sauce
- 3 tablespoons coconut cream
- 3 tablespoons pineapple sweet chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon sriracha, or to taste
For the Grilled Shrimp
- 1 pound (20-25 or 16-20) shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 slices pineapple, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
For the Coconut and Pineapple Sweet Chili Sauce
- Mix everything.
For the Grilled Shrimp
- Skewer the shrimp and pineapple, grill over medium-high heat until cooked (about 2-3 minutes per side).
- Brush the sauce onto the shrimp.
Note: Place a can of coconut milk in the fridge, standing upright, for at least 24 hours. Open it and scoop the thicker white coconut cream from the top, reserving the clear liquid on the bottom for other things (like smoothies).
Option: Use store bought sweet chili sauce and mix in pureed pineapple to taste.