Right now, farm stands are overflowing with heirloom tomatoes, corn, summer squash and stone fruits at their peak. Make the most of these stellar ingredients with dishes that celebrate the bounty of the season. We’ve hand-picked a variety of starters, salads, mains and desserts perfect for serving al fresco on a warm August evening. Entertaining tip: serve these beautiful dishes on large platters and pass around the table family-style.
|Blackberry Champagne Cocktail
Greeting your guests with a glass of Champagne sets the perfect tone for a lively, warm summer supper. Fresh blackberries and sugar cubes add delightful sweetness.
|Fruity Bellini, Three Ways
Another festive take on sparkling wine with fruit: refreshing Bellinis made with fresh peach, mango and raspberry juices.
|Garden Vegetables with Aioli
One of our favorite ways to enjoy peak-season produce, this garden vegetable medley also looks stunning on the table. Tip: If you have friends who have vegetable gardens, tell them to bring their latest harvests to add to this dish.
|Fresh Figs with Marscapone, Mint and Italian Honey
The flavor of market-fresh figs is one of our favorite summer treats. If you can’t find Italian honey, any good-quality honey will do.
|Grilled Peaches, Gorgonzola and Dandelion Salad
Grilling lends a smoky flavor the sweetness of peaches and caramelizes their juices. They’re delicious paired with creamy, mild Gorgonzola dolcelatte.
|Heirloom Tomato Salad with Two Vinegars
We can’t get enough of heirloom tomatoes during peak season. They’re so full of flavor, they require very little–like a splash of several vinegars, salt and pepper–to turn them into a delicious salad.
|Bean and Radish Salad
A gorgeous and tasty presentation of summer beans. Be sure to use your best olive oil and vinegar–if you can’t find Zinfadel vinegar, red wine vinegar will work, too.
|Grilled Chicken with Corn & Mozzarella Salad
Farm-fresh chicken tastes delicious when roasted on the grill and paired with sweet corn and creamy cubes of mozzarella.
|Polenta with Summer Vegetable Ragout
For a satisfying vegetarian option, stew fresh summer vegetables and serve over creamy polenta enriched with butter. (For an extra farm-fresh meal, grind your own cornmeal from heirloom corn.)
|Blueberry Crumble Pie
A buttery crumble topping is the perfect foil for juicy, ripe blueberries. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!
|Blackberry Farm’s Blackberry Cobbler
Cobblers, crisps, buckles and bettys–you can’t go wrong with summer berries warmed under tender, buttery toppings. This recipe, from Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm, showcases the season’s plump, ripe berries at their best.