Whether you’re planning some warm weather get-togethers, looking for quick bites, something sweet, or just quick and easy meal suggestions to throw together during the summer weeks, Living the Gourmet has you covered with a selection of our favorite summer recipes.
Summer, oh summer! Honeyed days of golden rays and long nights of blazing sunsets and backyard gatherings that linger long into the late hours. As the sky grows darker and the warm lights from each house reflect off the creek’s constant, rippling surface, music drifts from the neighbor’s porch mingling with the smell of food being grilled, and that’s the beautiful thing about summer- you lose track of time and sometimes eat dinner at 9:30.
I don’t know what summer means to you, but it leaves me with a sense of infinity and peace. Life is good and these fleeting months are the purest form of magic.
We decided to begin our celebration of the season with a roundup of recipes from LTG over the years. Come join the celebration and savor the taste of summer with us!
Under the Sun Refreshments
Classic Iced Tea (above)
No summer menu is complete without a back-to-basics classic iced tea. So to whet your appetite, we kicking it off with this quintessential refreshment.
Strawberry Basil Lemonade (left)
Whether you’re basking under the sun, or lounging under the shade of an umbrella, you’ll want this delicious lemonade as your constant companion. Equal parts taste, beauty, and simplicity, all you need for this delightfully refreshing lemonade is a blender or food processor, and a handful of seasonal ingredients, and you’re good to go.
Fresh Blueberry Slushie (right)
Like something plucked from a tropical bar, this bright purple slushie is all you’ll need to get you through the season’s soaring temperatures. Sweet, thick, and blissfully colorful, all you need for this slushie is blender, berries, fresh mint, some almond milk, and added sugar is completely optional.
Peach Moscato Slushie (left)
Here’s a perfect summertime treat exclusively for the grown-ups- sweet, refreshing, and satisfying this Moscato slushie is the perfect cocktail for your summer menu.
Healthy Almond Joy Shake (right)
When I was younger, I loved thick shakes – okay I still love thick shakes – but I long ago graduated to healthier choices, such as this Almond Joy- inspired frosty. Made with fresh almond milk, frozen bananas (for added creaminess), coconut, and a hint of chocolate, this frosty is a guiltless under-the-sun indulgence. Chocolate shavings and sweet coconut flakes are optional but highly recommended. You’re worth it!
Perfect Charcuterie Board (above)
Marinated olives, grilled fruit, sliced meat, Caprese salad, warmed brie, and toasted artisan bread, what’s not to love? Aside from being super easy to put together, boards like this always end up looking great with just a little patience and love, and never fail to make your guests think you’re a Michelin Star-worthy Chef. Still one of our favorite entries to date, may I be so bold to say that our Perfect Charcuterie Board is an essential.
Cold Cut Rollups (left)
Satisfying without being heavy, and sublimely easy to put together, a tray of these rollups are the perfect starters to any warm weather get-together, and can even serve as a light lunch. Feel free to make these a day ahead, just pop them in the fridge with some cling wrap.
Fried Zucchini Blossoms (right)
Growing up in an Old-World Italian home these fried flowers were perhaps one of my favorite summertime recipes. It’s a tradition I’ve passed down and now make for my family. You can serve them on their own on an antipasto platter or tossed with your favorite pasta and fresh sauce. No matter how you choose to enjoy them though, these delicate blossoms will soon become your favorite seasonal go-to!
Growing up in an Italian home, we served boards like these all year round, at every function – literally every function, and for good reason. They’re super easy to put together, look fantastic, and believe it or not they really help to get people talking as you all pick from a platter.
Greek Mezes (right)
This starter platter is hardy without being heavy, and combines a menagerie of rustic earthy flavors, that will make you feel like you’re luxuriating under the Aegean sun no matter where you are. Easy and quick to put together, this spread is sure to be the star of your next get-together.
Salsa Fresca (left)
If you’re like me, you love salsa, but I can guarantee that once you try this recipe you’ll love fresh salsa even more. Honestly, give this recipe a try and you’ll never want to go back to the jar again.
Spicy Hummus (right)
Chickpeas, a blender, and some seasonings, and you’ve got this delicious little dip down to a science. It’s just that easy. Garnish with some basil or parsley, a quick dash of olive oil, and this dip can serve as the centerpiece of any summer spread. It goes great with taco chips, pita, or flatbread.
Light Warm Weather Meals
Pasta is one of the easiest dishes to prepare, but its convenience is even more appreciated when the temps get too high to turn the oven on. Enter our Bistro Style Penne and Lemon Chicken. Fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and lemon grilled chicken come together for a light yet hearty meal that is bursting with flavor.
Summer Shrimp Salad (left)
This salad is reminiscent of something you might find at a seaside bistro, or at an old school New England restaurant. A one-bowl meal, this salad is as refreshing as it is satisfying, and is surprisingly versatile. While you can eat this on its own, consider layering it in pita bread with olives and cheese, or putting it in ‘salad bowls,’ or mixing it with fresh summer greens.
Roasted Veggie Gazpacho (right)
For those moments when you want to cool down ‘and’ have dinner at the same time, this gazpacho has exactly what you’re looking for while putting a few delicious twists on the ever-familiar traditional gazpacho recipe.
Blackened Cod Fish Tacos (left)
A festival of summer flavors, these tacos are a delicious way to add some variety into your summer dinner rotation. This recipe combines cod fish blackened in fresh pepper, curry, and chili powder, set in taco shells with chunks of avocado and pineapple, and a twist of fresh lemon for garnish.
Pork and Veggie Kebobs (right)
Kebobs are one of those items that can be intensely ‘fancy,’ but that doesn’t really need be. For me, this is the essential summer kebob. These are crazy easy to put together, satisfying, and just a delight to eat. These can be grilled on the barbecue, or stovetop on either a cast iron griddle or cast iron frying pan with a dash of olive oil.
Linguine Puttanesca (left)
Another perfect summertime pasta dish, this is a simple and satisfying meal perfect for balmy summer nights. Puttanesca is a basic sauce made of fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and anchovies…there are many variations but for this recipe, but I dressed mine up with tuna and fresh basil!
Eggplant Stacks (right)
The flavors of the Old World Mediterranean get a modern twist with these elegant Eggplant Stacks! This grilled vegetarian delight is a year-round favorite of mine
Italian Style BLT (left)
Is it really summer if don’t have at least one good sandwich recipe in your repertoire? We gave the beloved classic BLT an Italian twist today with a Caprese-style takeover. Summer picnics just got a whole lot tastier!
Asian Rice Salad Bowls (right)
From their bright summer colors to their playful presentation, these salad bowls are a celebration unto themselves. Combining crisp water chestnuts, teriyaki marinated chicken, an assortment of summer veggies, and Thai seasoned rice in a delicate red cabbage salad bowl, this recipe is a must for any summer menu.
Satisfying Summer Sweets
French Lemon Tart (above)
Simple elegance defines this luscious tart with a buttery tart shell baked around a silky lemon curd. It’s a dessert for all seasons! It’s one of our most beloved pins on Pinterest this season and we must agree, it is a charming addition to your summer soiree!
This recipe combines a few of my favorite things in the world – homemade no-churn ice cream, fresh strawberries, and chocolate. Need I say more?
Pies, strawberries, rhubarb, are all synonymous with summer. So we created these- individual treats served with a cool, vegan whipped cream.
Its unanimous homemade ice cream is the essence of summer, what’s even better is a no-churn batter. We’ve got another creamy, cool no-churn ice cream that gets a coffeehouse makeover!
An adult twist on basic Vanilla No Churn Ice Cream, this decadent dessert makes no qualms about being blissfully “not” guilt-free, for those balmy summer nights when you really just want to let loose and indulge. This recipe adds Baily’s Irish Cream to a base of whipped heavy cream, with just a dash of natural vanilla extract.
Possibly my favorite cheesecake recipe ever, this sinfully simple cheesecake recipe is made from a base of sweetened whipped cream and cream cheese, which is then poured into a no-bake crust, and then set in the freeze for several hours. Top as you desire, and it’s ready to serve. Yes, it’s just that easy, and equally delicious.
Honey Crepe Cake (right)
A cake you don’t have to bake, you read that right. Delicate crepes are layered with honey-infused pastry cream and chocolate honey spread for an irresistible dessert.
And there you have it. We hope you’re inspired by these recipes to get out and host an unforgettable summer dinner. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram with #LTGfood if you make any of these and check out our 4th of July Recipe Roundup as well!
Enjoy with Love!