On the end of every growing zucchini or summer squash you will find a vibrant yellow-orange flower — the blossom — which is a vegetable in its own right. Zucchini blossoms are fragile and delicately flavored, a little sweeter and more ephemeral than the flavor of the squash itself. The blooms are naturally soft, but pick those that look fresh, not droopy, with mostly closed buds.
Summer is a time to have fun with your food, and an empty ice pop mold is the perfect blank canvas for dreaming up colorful flavor combos. Allow us to offer a few ideas as inspiration; with this bevy of pops, you’ll never be bored.
Chai Tea Latte Pops (above)
Sweet and spicy, these pops are just like the cozy drink you love sipping all winter, but reimagined for warmer weather.
If your pesto prowess starts and ends with picking up a jar of the stuff at the supermarket, listen up. Your own from-scratch pesto is super-easy to blend at home (and it tastes infinitely better). And get this: Pesto isn’t just exclusive to basil anymore (or pricey pine nuts either); the summer staple can be made with really any green, and you can get even more creative by using sun-dried tomatoes and more unconventional picks. If you’re never made your own before, start with Ina Garten’s top-rated recipe for classic basil pesto, then move on to some of our favorite riffs, bound to be tossed into pasta, spread onto a sandwich and more. Now rev those food processors — let’s get blending!
If you’re departing from the classic basil blend for the first time, keep things familiar by opting for another leafy green. Food Network Magazine’s Kale and Pistachio Pesto Spaghetti (pictured above) is green through and through with hearty kale, which adds a delightfully rich earthiness, and roasted, salted pistachios.
Bobby Flay is our resident grill master here at Food Network. When we’re not watching him crank up the heat on Beat Bobby Flay, we’re trying our hand at one of his best burger recipes. But even though he’s a burger and steak guy, not all of his grilled recipes are super-meaty — often he dresses up vegetables, too, with a smoky char. Check out his top droolworthy veggie recipes for fresh seasonal inspiration.
The AC is cranked up, shorts are on and whatever you’re drinking is filled to the brim with ice cubes. And you know what’s not happening this far into July? The oven — and it’s staying off all summer long. Keep your kitchen cool with these sweet treats that don’t require the oven, which are all about bringing on sweetness, not sweat.
Before the mere mention of cake has you preheating the oven, back away from that dial. Ina Garten’s towering, caffeine-spiked Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake (pictured above) cake never sees the inside of an oven. With a little beauty sleep overnight, the layers of mocha whipped cream and chocolate cookies get a chance to merge and soften together.
We’re coming up on tomato season, which means those vine-ripened orbs of summery goodness are about to start flooding the markets. I wait all year for that moment! One thing I love to eat in late summer but don’t even think about during the rest of the year is a BLT. There’s just something about the combination of just-ripe tomatoes, salty bacon and cool, crisp lettuce (on toasted white bread with mayo, of course!). It’s absolute perfection. But a gal can eat only so many sandwiches. Here are some other delicious ways to enjoy the BLT trifecta.
BLT Pasta Salad from Food Network Magazine (pictured above)
Two summertime classics — pasta salad and the BLT — come together to create a dish that’s packed with flavor. Fresh herbs like thyme and chives add freshness to the creamy dressing. Read more
There’s something so satisfying about a good ol’ pasta salad. First of all, it’s pasta. Second of all, you can load it up with really anything, serve it chilled and people will love you for it.
I remember eating pasta salad as a kid in the summer ALL THE TIME. Picnics, lunches, family gatherings, church banquets — like, constantly. It’s basically the perfect food, because while it’s relaxed, it also encompasses comfort. You can flavor it any which way you want, but somehow it never feels pretentious. It’s an ego-less food. It’s not a jerk. It’s humble and nice.
You can just ignore me.
I’ve come up with a super-easy pasta salad recipe that’s perfect for your kids and you, with only a few minor differences. I’m keeping the kids’ version creamy with ranch dressing, baby. And for the adults, there’s a simple garlic vinaigrette and millions of sauteed veggies. It’s so delicious. Can’t deal. Won’t deal. Except for the eating part. I can most certainly deal with that.
To us, a slab of ribs is the carnivore’s perfect summer food. Nibbling on them without a fork or knife is not only allowed, it’s encouraged. Though they can be cooked in the oven with great results, they’re most often taken outside and fired up until smoky and charred. Plus, buying racks in bulk makes for an easy, crowd-pleasing party dish that goes delectably with an ice-cold beer. In the spirit of summer, churn out perfectly tender ribs right at home with all the flavor of the smokehouse, with some of our most-popular recipes for all the different types of pork and beef ribs.
Let’s talk spareribs. Meaty, with a good amount of fat, they’re cut from the belly of the pig, from the front of the rib cage. Next time you make ‘em, crack open a can of cola to add a dose of unexpected sweetness to these top-rated Sweet Cola Ribs. After you remove the membrane, give the rack a good dry rub and cook it over indirect heat for serious smoky tenderness. Glaze the ribs in the last few moments of grilling so they reach sweet perfection without burning.
This time of year, it’s tempting to rush into grilling, throwing whatever ingredients you’ve got onto the hot grates with abandon. We know you can’t wait to dine alfresco, but it’s worth taking a moment to remind yourself of the basics — especially when it comes to kebabs. These crowd-pleasing meals on a stick are a big part of many a griller’s regular rotation. Here’s how to get them right every time.
1. Don’t forget to soak those skewers!
If you’re using wooden skewers instead of metal ones, dunk them in water for at least 20 minutes before you start grilling. This minimizes the chance that they’ll catch on fire.
Finishing off a burger with a good slice of cheese in the final moments on the grill works, but hold it right there. These totally stuffed burgers prove that burgers are good to their very core when they’re stuffed to the gills with cheese, bacon and more.
Sunny Anderson’s Bacon-, Onion- and Cheese-Stuffed Burger (pictured above) may sound like a mouthful, but these burgers take just 35 minutes to reach your plate. Each smoky-meets-savory patty is fixed up with a mixture of bacon, onion and grated sharp cheddar for max flavor.