The end of summer is the time of year that yields the greatest assortment of fresh produce. So it’s no wonder why this is the perfect season to experiment with creative cuisines.
If you love visiting farmers’ markets, then this will be an especially exciting time to shop, with plenty of fresh herbs, veggies and sweet summer fruits to sample. If you want a tasty end to the summer season, here are a few ingredients and recipes that should make your grocery list:
Pesto is first on this list because when made at home, it is absolutely delicious – and nothing out of a jar could ever compare. Aside from fresh basil and pine nuts, pesto only needs a handful of other ingredients – garlic, olive oil and parmesan – and a food processor to make. The result is a heavenly and attractive addition to pasta salads, pizza or bruschetta.
2. Mint Julep
There’s nothing like a summer herb swimming in your cocktails to make you appreciate how a simple sprig of mint, basil or ginger can completely transform your drink. If you like your mint extra strong, you can crush it first to help the oils seep into your drink. Try frosting your glasses ahead of time or adding some sun-brewed iced Southern style sweet tea to your cocktail to make this drink even more summer-ready.
When summer winds down, folks will be firing up the grill and experimenting with flame-cooked goodness. The possibilities for barbecue recipes are endless with summer’s bounty of sweet and savory ingredients, such as grilled pineapple, asparagus, eggplant or citrus.
4. Berry-Peach Cobbler with Sugared Almonds
This combination of berries and peaches topped with August-ripened almonds is the epitome of summer. Though cobbler is scrumptious enough on its own, it is also a great excuse to break out the ice cream for some extra indulgence. Make sure you get the sweetest, juiciest fruit when making this recipe.
5. Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Dip-able foods are always welcomed at any outdoor gathering or barbecue, and freshly chopped spinach and artichoke make this dip both colorful and delicious. If you want to create a more complex flavor, try grilling the artichoke before adding it to the dip.
6. Salted Watermelon Margaritas
A classic summer fruit combined with a classic summer drink – what could be better? The days when you can sip this refreshing beverage by the pool may be drawing to a close, but there’s still time to have some serious fun and impress the neighbors with this recipe.
Make sure you get the most out of your last days of summer by indulging in a few – or all – of these delicious recipes and cocktails, and remember to get creative by adding a unique twist to your favorite dishes. Consider this time a finale of the best cooking that summer has to offer.