Make the most of the bounty from your garden or local market with a menu that showcases summer’s freshest flavors. Fire up the grill to add delicious depth to ripe tomatoes, peaches, peppers and more, then finish with homey cobbler made from sweet, plump berries. From your backyard garden to your grill, our tips and recipes will help you pull off the party with ease.
This summer soup tastes best when prepared a day in advance, refrigerated overnight to meld the flavors together and finished with fresh herbs at the table. For a fun and informal twist, serve the gazpacho in glasses chilled in an ice bucket instead of the usual bowls.
|Peach, Arugula & Goat Cheese Salad
For this seasonal salad, use a local variety of ripe white or yellow peach, or donut peaches, which are smaller than regular ones. A large wooden serving bowl is perfect for passing around the table family-style.
|Pasta with Grilled Vegetables and Herbs
This meatless pasta dish shows that if you start with fresh ingredients, it takes very little work to make a stellar meal. You can boil the pasta ahead of time and finish the vegetables on the grill while visiting with guests. Pass a hard, nutty cheese around the table and allow diners to grate it over the dish themselves.
|Marinated Summer Beans with Toasted Almonds and Dry Jack Cheese
Green and yellow summer beans shine with flavor when cooked until just tender and tossed in a simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil. Use a variety of colors and serve on durable salad plates or in soup bowls for a range of sizes and shapes on the table.
The variety of berries and the amount of each type you use for this simple yet satisfying cobbler will depend on what looks good at the market. The warm dessert begs for a scoop of vanilla ice cream — glass compote bowls bring the humble cobbler to the modern table for a festive presentation.
About the author: Olivia Terenzio grew up in Mississippi, where she cultivated a love of sweet potatoes, crawfish and cloth napkins at a young age. A passion for sharing food with friends and family led her into the kitchen and later to culinary school, where she learned how to roast a chicken and decorate a cake like a pro. As a Williams-Sonoma blog editor, she’s now lucky enough to be talking, writing and thinking about food all day.