We’re all about peach cobblers and peach pies in the summer, but if all you’re making with this juicy fruit is dessert, you’re seriously missing out. Peaches are at their peak of juicy sweetness for just a short time in the summer, and it’s best to make the most of those glorious days. Read more
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If you’re anything like us, all you crave for dinner on a Monday night is the salty convenience of takeout. Thanks to Rachael Ray and her 30-minute meals, you can make an Asian-inspired noodle dish at home in less time than it would take to have it delivered. Read more
Swiss chard (also known simply as chard) is a leafy green vegetable that is related to beets and spinach. It is rich in vitamins A, C and especially K, and it is also a good source of magnesium, iron and potassium. Chard can be steamed or sauteed, and it’s great in soups, stews, casseroles, frittatas and quiches. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads.
Chard always has green leaves, but the stalks can be a variety of colors. Rainbow chard is an assortment of different varieties, with stalks of red, pink, orange, yellow and white. The colors will fade somewhat in the cooking process, but boy are they pretty to look at when uncooked! Chard stems take a little longer to cook than the leaves, but the whole plant is edible and delicious. It’s a little bit sweet in the stems (which have a slight celery-like flavor) and pleasantly bitter in the leaves. Some people prefer to remove the stems from the leaves and cook them separately. If the stems are thin and tender, this step can be skipped.
Summer dining is all about ease and convenience, so if you’re agonizing over the perfect salad to pair with your pork tenderloin or grilled chicken, you’re seriously overthinking it. Intricate slaws that require a half-hour of chopping and grain salads that require you to boil water get a lot of hype during this time of year, but we think there’s a superior option that best encapsulates the easy, laid-back nature of summer dining. Let us introduce panzanella, a traditional Italian salad made with day-old bread, olive oil, tomatoes and basil. These are just the staples, as many modern recipes go above and beyond the call of duty by featuring cucumber, bell pepper, red onion and more of the season’s finest produce. But what we love the most about this hearty dish is the fact that it has the potential to reduce food waste. That’s right: The crustier the bread, the better. So before you even think about tossing that half loaf of stale bread on your countertop, check out these quick, easy and flavorful panzanellas from Food Network.
Cucumber, red onion, basil and heirloom tomatoes are mixed together to create an eye-catching rainbow of edible color in Ree Drummond’s rustic bread salad. When selecting the bread, go for a crustier loaf that will hold its shape against the olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing. If you want to avoid using the oven, you can cut up the bread and let it dry out at room temperature overnight.
Even if you can’t spend every summer day splashing in the waves, searching for seashells or lounging under a giant umbrella, a beachy snack is never too far away. These adorable ideas will turn even a rainy, decidedly non-beach day into a little summer celebration.
Ocean Blue Boozy Milkshakes (above)
Blue curacao liqueur blends with vanilla ice cream to create an indulgent shake that mimics the hues of the sea. Topped with whipped cream, the drink looks like a gentle wave crashing against the shoreline.
Left: Maine-style lobster roll | Right: Connecticut-style lobster roll
Anyone born and raised in New England will tell you that nothing epitomizes summer like a heap of sweet lobster meat piled onto a soft, buttery hot dog bun — a treat that’s best enjoyed with a side of piping-hot French fries and clear ocean views. A New Englander will also tell you there are two main variations on the theme, Maine style and Connecticut style, and natives of both states are known to fiercely defend their regional recipe as the gold standard of lobster rolls. To an outsider, the differences are subtle; many sandwiches come with a leaf of soft Bibb lettuce, a spritz of lemon juice, salt and black pepper. But a true aficionado knows that the differences between these predominant styles of roll are a bit more nuanced. Not sure you could spot the difference? Find out how to do it, below.
The cans of tomatoes lining your pantry have had your back all year long, but now is the time to give that can opener a rest. Right now fresh tomatoes are reaching their longed-for, juicy peak. Put these fleeting gems to good use by incorporating them into dishes that normally call for the can — pasta, soup and more — and do it fast.
When the need for a quick pasta meal arises, put the can of crushed tomatoes down. Though the can creates a speedy marinara (and a jar of tomato sauce is even quicker), remember these standbys will still be there for you once tomato season passes on by. Instead, go for Melissa d’Arabian’s Mediterranean Summer Pasta with Salsa Cruda, which brings fresh, diced tomatoes into the mix. Side note: This sauce is a no-cook dream. Instead of simmering it on the stove, you combine all the ingredients in a bowl and let their flavors meld together before tossing with the pasta.
We love coming home to a big bowl of pasta at the end of a long day, but during the hotter months our go-to cream sauces and baked pasta casseroles feel too heavy for steamy summer nights. To satisfy your carb cravings at this time of year, stick with Giada De Laurentiis’ best recipes for fresh, veggie-focused pastas that are refreshing and surprisingly light.
Pasta Ponza (pictured above)
Baking juicy tomatoes with tangy capers gives this dish bold flavors, while a breadcrumb crust delivers a satisfying crispy bite.
When summer temperatures spike and the air conditioning can’t begin to cut the heat, the very last thing you want to do is turn on an oven or sweat over a fiery grill. Instead, beat the heat with chilled summer soups, which are not only delicious and instantly cooling, but even improve when given a little time in the fridge for the flavors to meld. Make a big batch of soup showcasing fleeting summer produce such as tomatoes, corn, cucumbers or berries, and start enjoying the fleeting tastes of summer by the spoonful.
If you could capture summer in a bowl, it would be Ree Drummond’s Gazpacho (pictured above). First, she blitzes Roma tomatoes together with garlic, red onion, cukes, celery and zucchini. Then, she drizzles in olive oil for richness and body, vinegar for tartness, and hot sauce for kick. But it’s Ree’s garnishes that take this dish to the next level: Sliced avocado, cilantro leaves, minced hard-boiled eggs and grilled shrimp make each bowl a satisfying meal. Read more
By Angela Carlos
On this week’s episode of Chopped Junior, judges marveled at the contestants’ skills at transforming mystery basket ingredients into culinary revelations. In the entree round, Ethan’s perfectly seared branzino received a nod from judge Chris Santos, and the sense of balance in Tara’s crema sauce, which topped her boar tacos, left a lasting impression on the discerning judge.