Though back-to-school commercials are already flashing on our television screens and Halloween candy has somehow landed on store shelves, there’s still plenty of summer left to be enjoyed and more than enough time to plan a summer party. Whether you’re hosting a casual cookout for friends and family or organizing a neighborhood-wide barbecue, you’ll want to serve a selection of easy-to-eat appetizers and pre-dinner snacks at your get-together. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite party-perfect appetizers below, and serve them up at your next backyard bash.
Instead of reaching for tired carrots and ranch dressing, prepare a platter of Food Network Magazine‘s Crudite With Infused Olive Oil and Balsamic (pictured above). A fancy name for raw vegetables that have been cut for simple munching, crudités make the ultimate party appetizer since they involve zero cooking. They can be served with straight-from-the-bottle olive oil and vinegar, though this recipe takes those classic pairings one step further by infusing the oil and balsamic. Over low heat, fragrant fresh herbs and garlic are steeped in olive oil, while brown sugar, red pepper flakes and light citrus zest are warmed in balsamic. Once cool, serve both the olive oil and vinegar in shallow bowls for easy, delicious dunking.
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Light, bright and naturally sweet, juicy watermelon is an in-season fruit that fills you up without weighing you down. Though it’s most common on breakfast and brunch tables, it shines in meals any time of day, pairing well with sweet and savory dishes alike. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite new ways to cook with and serve watermelon, then tell us your favorite way to enjoy watermelon.
Food Network Magazine’s Watermelon and Haloumi Salad (pictured above) is a simple, satisfying dish that takes just 20 minutes to make. What in the world is haloumi? Great question. It’s a Greek cheese that’s mild in flavor and fairly firm in texture, so it easily can be fried or grilled without melting. This recipe mixes golden-fried haloumi with sweet chunks of melon, a few slices of crunchy celery and a tangy vinaigrette.
If you’ve never tasted cooked watermelon, give it a try in Claire Robinson’s Grilled Watermelon Salad. She cooks the melon for just a few minutes on an indoor grill pan then adds it to a bed of peppery arugula and tops it with goat cheese and a balsamic syrup. With just five ingredients, this seasonal plate is a must-try recipe.
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“Knee-high by the Fourth of July.” That’s the saying farmers go by when they’re judging the success of their corn crops. Well July Fourth has come and gone, which means it’s high time to enjoy the fruits of the farmers’ labor.
Though nothing is better than picking up a sweet corncob and chomping into as the warm butter drips down your chin, there are other ways to cook and enjoy this summertime classic. Pair corn off the cob with in-season ingredients and let it shine among other fresh, simple flavors. Check out three of Food Network’s favorite corn-based recipes below, then tell us your favorite way to enjoy corn.
Food Network Magazine’s summer-fresh pasta of Pappardelle With Corn (pictured above) is a light but satisfying dinner that’s easy enough to make on a weeknight. To prepare the sauce, sauté sweet grape tomatoes with butter, garlic and tender corn kernels, then toss with pappardelle noodles — long, flat, wide ribbon-shaped pasta — and add fragrant scallions, nutty Parmesan cheese and basil. The recipe calls for chicken broth, but you can substitute vegetable in order to maintain a meatless meal.
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Similar to a calzone, sandwich pockets consist of a light, delicate dough that’s filled with any number of sweet or savory combinations and baked in the oven. Food Network Magazine’s Broccoli-Cheddar Pockets (pictured above) are an easy, cheesy dinner solution that can be made in just 35 minutes. To prepare, roll out store-bought bread dough, stuff with a vegetarian mixture of blanched broccoli, sour cream, shredded cheddar and chives, and then bake until the pastry is crispy and golden brown. Check out this step-by-step photo gallery to find out the best way to fold the dough and prevent ingredient leakage. These hand-held beauties are a sure-fire way to get picky eaters to enjoy veggies, so try experimenting with other good-for-you fillings.
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If the weather where you are anything like what we’ve been experiencing in the Northeast, chances are you’re a bit sweaty right now. On days when the temperature is inching toward triple digits, the last thing you want to do is turn on the stove, preheat the oven and spend hours preparing a hot meal in an even warmer kitchen. This summer, beat the heat with Food Network’s menu of 20-minute meals that will have you in and out of the kitchen in no time. Check out our favorite quick-cooking recipes below, then tell us your go-to weeknight picks.
Built on a crusty, crunchy grilled baguette, Food Network Magazine’s Open-Faced Tomato Grilled Cheese (pictured above) features sweet ripe tomatoes, creamy provolone cheese and a touch of garlic. Brush the bread with oregano-seasoned olive oil before grilling so that it adopts the warm flavor and fragrance of the herb. These five-star beauties are impressive enough to serve to company but can be eaten casually with your hands.
In just 15 minutes, Rachael Ray preps a no-cook Chickpea Salad that is as light as it is satisfying. She combines tender chickpeas, crunchy celery and mild red onions, and adds a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for heat. Complete this salad with a seasoned red-wine vinaigrette and serve as a fuss-free side dish or quick lunch.
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A fresh, no-cook sauce that takes just moments to prepare, basil pesto is a must-have summer sauce that’s most traditionally made with bunches of fresh basil leaves, plenty of garlic, crunchy pine nuts, mounds of Parmesan cheese and fruity olive oil. If you’ve never made homemade pesto before, start with Food Network Magazine’s Basil Pesto (pictured above) — it’s an easy, versatile recipe that the whole family will enjoy. Though pesto is often featured atop pasta noodles, it can shine in salads, soups, appetizers and more. Check out Food Network’s pesto-based recipes below and let us know your favorite way to enjoy pesto.
With a smooth sauce and rich flavor, Food Network Magazine’s five-star Pesto Cream Tortellini is a go-to weeknight dinner that features tender tortellini — pillow-like pasta that is stuffed with either meat or cheese — and good-for-you broccoli. Pick up a package of store-bought tortellini to save time in the kitchen.
Giada’s Farro With Coarse Pesto is an Italian-style salad that can be featured as a hearty side dish or healthful light lunch. When making the pesto, Giada processes the basil mixture just until it’s coarse — the uneven texture will stand up well to the hefty weight of the grains. Be sure to boil the farro in vegetable broth or water, instead of chicken broth, to maintain a meatless dish.
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Summer cooking is all about choosing the lightest, brightest, most in-season ingredients and letting them shine in simple recipes. Whether you shop at a farmers’ market or neighborhood grocery store, look for the freshest summer produce and let that determine what you make for dinner. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite summer salads below and visit our Summer Produce Guide for more fresh ideas.
With only a handful of ingredients, Food Network Kitchens’ Fresh Corn Tomato Salad (pictured above) is a refreshing no-cook dish that can be made in only 30 minutes. Because the cherry tomatoes and husked corn are eaten raw, they’ll pop with deliciously juicy sweetness and that just-ripened taste. Add chunks of cool mozzarella cheese for an indulgent bite and dress with a simple vinaigrette and lots of torn basil before serving.
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Though grilling season is in full swing, you don’t have to forgo your favorite plates of pasta until the fall. Lasagna, in fact, can be cooked just as easily on the grill as it can in the oven. Just a few simple steps is all it takes to prepare traditional lasagna in a very nontraditional way.
Food Network Magazine’s Grilled Lasagna (pictured above) is made in easy-to-assemble aluminum-foil packets that are sturdy enough to hold the classic ingredients inside of them. No-boil noodles form the base of the lasagna, which is layered with sliced ripe tomatoes, fresh spinach and a garlic-laced mozzarella-Parmesan cheese mixture. Thanks to the steam cloud that forms in the pouch while it’s grilled, the noodles become soft, the cheeses melted and the spinach wilted. For an added dollop of indulgence, open the packet before serving and top each square of lasagna with creamy ricotta cheese and in-season basil.
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Ready to enjoy in mere minutes, eggs are a go-to meatless meal option that are as versatile as they are easy to prepare. Though a quick scramble or plate of sunny-side up beauties are classic breakfast options, frittatas are hearty enough to be served as lunch or dinner dishes, too. Much like an omelet, frittatas are made by whisking eggs and are cooked with fresh vegetables, creamy cheeses, herbs and more, but there’s no flipping or folding required.
Food Network Magazine’s frittata (pictured above) boasts a healthful combination of baby spinach, whole-wheat breadcrumbs and tangy feta cheese, and is best finished with a side of just-roasted red pepper. Be sure to cook the frittata in an ovenproof skillet, since it needs to bake for just 15 minutes until golden brown and set on top.
Served with juicy plum tomatoes, nutty Parmesan cheese and fresh cilantro, Bobby’s light but filling Frisee Salad With Roasted Garlic Dressing is a simple accompaniment to the fluffy frittata.
Get the recipe: Spinach and Feta Frittata
Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.
Though ribs, burgers and brats may be all the rage today, you can still maintain a meatless Memorial Day by opting for flavor-packed veggie side dishes that are as satisfying and hearty as mains. Our three simple sides below are bold, creative takes on traditional dishes, and are sure to star at your holiday cookout.
A classic picnic pick, potato salads are quick to prepare and guaranteed to feed a crowd. Spring Garden Potato Salad (pictured above) from Food Network Kitchens celebrates the season’s bounty and is made with such fresh ingredients as English cucumber, sweet cherry tomatoes, red-skinned potatoes and more. A no-fuss garlic-mayonnaise mixture dresses this colorful bowl, best finished with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Ready in only 15 minutes, Food Network Magazine’s Avocado Salad is filled with a bright, refreshing combination of mango, pineapple, creamy avocado and crunchy jicama, and is tossed in a sweet mix of lime and orange juices, shallots and fragrant cilantro. Be sure to season liberally with salt, as it marries the flavors and complements the sugars in the fruits.
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