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The End of Summer...Your BEST Summer Dish?

Well, now that kids have started back to school, we can officially call this the 'end of summer'.

What dish/recipe did you make this summer that was a real stand-out? (I feel like a teacher asking you to write about your summer vacation...)

I'll start...(now I feel like a group therapy leader). Summer is not my most creative time (small children=FWFs brain leaks out). As many know, I am an avid tomato gardener (endless tomato posts on NAF board), so most of my spare time is spent mainly with this endeavor. Nevertheless, I did try a few new recipes this summer, Lime-Basil Sorbet being my favorite of the summer (photo below).

Now, your turn... :)

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  1. I made some bay scallop-corn cakes a few weeks ago that I thought were pretty fantastic. perfect balance of sweet and briny, and although it required standing over a couple of pans of hot oil to fry them, it was worth it. Served it with a lemon cucumber-plum salsa. I didn't take very good notes, but here is the recipe (I hope my estimated measurements are correct)

    1 lb. bay scallops, chopped coarsely
    2 ears of corn kernels and their liquid
    1/2 medium red onion, chopped fine
    1/4 cup basil, chopped fine
    1/4 cup italian parsley, chopped fine
    2 Tbsp honey
    1/4 cup mayo
    1 egg, beaten
    1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
    1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
    pinch of red pepper
    salt and pepper
    more panko to coat cakes

    mix all ingredients together, put in the fridge for 2-6 hours.
    when ready to cook, make small spoonfuls and drop into a dish of panko. roll until well covered, flattening into little cakes, and fry in vegetable oil, about 6-7 minutes per side. transfer to a pan in a warm oven until ready to serve.
    Serve with some more raw cut corn and sour cream, strained yogurt, fresh herbs, or salsa.

    1. I've been gobbling down Moroccan Style Carrot Salad all summer--it's especially good now that the carrots and herbs from the CSA have arrived. Easy to make, too.


      1 Reply
      1. The carrot salad looks fantastic. I'm definitely trying it.

        I've been making panzanella ... bread salad. Cubed stale bread, the juiciest, ripest tomatoes from my garden, a little diced red onion, kalamata olives, capers and a good amount of olive oil and some red wine vinegar, fresh basil. Sometimes I'll add feta or goat cheese. This says "summer" to me.

        2 Replies
        1. re: houndgirl

          Ah, panzanella with perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes is my favorite summer dish in the world! Especially with home-grown basil. Oh, moan!


          1. re: houndgirl

            I could live off this! Nothing sadder than the end of tomato season

          2. My two favorites from this summer were Green Mango Salad (very much like Thai papaya salad) and Mast-O Khiar (from the New Food of Life cookbook), plus Vin de Pamplemousse (from the Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook):

            Green Mango Salad

            1 green mango, cut into strips
            2 chopped Thai chilis
            3 Tbsp chopped basil
            3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
            zest from 1 lime
            2 minced cloves of garlic
            1/4 c lime juice
            1 tsp fish sauce
            2 Tbsp soy sauce
            1-2 Tbsp sugar
            salt to taste
            2 Tbsp coarsely crushed macadamia nuts

            Iranian Yogurt & Cucumber Dip with Raisins & Walnuts (Mast-O Khiar)

            1/3 cup raisins
            1 English cucumber, diced
            3 cups drained yogurt
            1/4 cup minced green onion + more for garnish
            1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts + more for garnish
            2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
            1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint + more for garnish
            2 cloves garlic, minced to a paste with salt
            Freshly ground black pepper
            Fresh or dried rose petals (optional)

            Cover the raisins in water to plump for about 30 minutes. Drain. In a large bowl, combine the raisins, cucumber, yogurt, green onion, walnuts, dill, mint and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with more green onion, walnuts, mint and rose petals (if using).

            Vin de Pamplemousse

            5*750ml bottles sauvignon blanc
            ~3c vodka (80 proof)
            4 pink grapefruit
            2 white grapefruit
            2 meyer lemons or 2 eating oranges
            1-2 cups sugar
            1 vanilla bean

            Slice the fruit, put all the ingredients together in a glass container, and seal. Let sit in refrigerator for about 4 weeks; adjust sugar.

            1. Last night I finally enjoyed a nice summer meal:

              Heirloom tomato and avocado salad

              Sauteed shrimp and corn with basil

              Caramelized peach tart

              The peach tart is Maria Helm Sinskey's recipe and is incredibly simple to make and you don't have to peel the peaches! Line a large tart pan with pate brisee; chill. Cut peaches in halves, then slice each half thinly, but keep slices together to preserve the shape of the peach half. Place peach halves in tart shell skin side up. Gently press on halves to fan out slices. Sprinkle generously with sugar and dot with a bit of butter. Bake at 400 degrees on bottom oven rack for 1 hour, then on top oven rack for 25 minutes until peaches are juicy and caramelized. (You will want to put the tart pan on a baking sheet to catch drips.) She recommends serving it with caramel ice cream (her recipe is great, but I didn't have time to make it yesterday).

              1. The best dishes I have made this summer were that rabbit terrine, the buttermilk blueberry tart from Epi. and that open faced blueberries and cream pie I posted about after finding I can get good northern wild blueberries in Bloomington, IN. Not too bad for some one with sciatica and subsequent surgery I guess. Standing and cooking was not a real comfortable thing to do.

                1. Tomato Keftedes (dumplings) is my favourite from this summer.

                  End of summer is a perfect time to find recipes for all those fresh cherry tomatoes in your garden. I found a wonderful dish while in Greece last spring and searched the web for a recipe. See below. Just one caveat, once you've mashed the tomatoes, drain off the liquid, reserve it and add it back in to get the consistency right. I didn't do this and had to add a lot more flour. I still couldn't get it to a consistency that I could "handle," so I ended up dropping the moist batter into the oil. They still were a great hit with my guests. The fresh mint really adds to this dish, so don't skimp on it.

                  Tomato Keftedes from Santorini (Tomato rissoles)

                  500g Santorinian cherry tomatoes
                  2 finely chopped onions
                  150g self-raising flour (1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt per cup of all purpose flour)
                  40g fresh chopped mint
                  10g fresh chopped parsley
                  20ml Olive oil
                  Pinch of chilli or paprika to taste
                  Salt & black pepper

                  * Remove the skins from the tomatoes and mash into a large bowl
                  * Once mashed add the remaining ingredients and enough flour to thicken enough to make patties that keep their shape.
                  * Lightly dust each rissole with a light covering of flour
                  * Heat olive oil in a pan and when hot (not smoking) fry rissoles on each side until golden
                  * Serve hot as a starter or with a fresh green salad for a main course

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: dinin and dishin

                    Ooh, I've been looking for a good tomato keftedes recipe since we went to Santorini! Thanks!

                    1. re: coolbean98

                      So good to hear I am not alone. We found these when we were at Nikolas in the main part of Fira (the place that refuses to put out an English menu). They turned out to be the best part of the meal. One note, I didn't use all the batter the first day and found that the next day they just didn't taste as good. I've seen a recipe that also had some cheese in it and no mint, but I think I prefer this one. Very fresh tasting. I hope they hit the spot.

                      1. re: dinin and dishin

                        Yes, it's a truly yummy Santorini specialty! I sought them out when we were there because I had read that tomatoes there are especially good because the dry heat produces very small fruit with very concentrated flavors. Thank you for helping me relive that vacation with your tips for this tasty recipe!

                  2. the most memorable thing i made this summer was one of the simplest. i was actually supposed to go out for dinner that night but plans changed and i just whipped up this pasta from what i had laying around, and it was so good i ate a ton of it.

                    i had roma beans from my CSA and a couple of very ripe tomatoes, so i made a really simple sauce with just the tomatoes, young garlic, olive oil, cooked very briefly. then added the cooked beans, nice pasta, basil and parm. it was so simple but everything was so fresh it just blew my mind!

                    1. I had a delicious salad at the Hungry Cat Restaurant here in Los Angeles.
                      that I've managed to recreate at home.

                      Mix the following ingredients:
                      large wedges of heirloom tomatoes
                      1 1/2 " irregular chunks of watermelon
                      thin rings of red onion

                      dress with a simple red wine vinagrette , then crumble feta cheese and mint leaves on top.
                      an unusual and delicious combination of flavors!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ostudio

                        I've been meaning to try the watermelon/tomato combo--thanks for the reminder. :)

                      2. My fav dish I made this summer was one of the more simple Daniel Boulud recipes I've attempted. Absolutely delicious though:

                        Roasted Red Snapper With Tomatoes and Yuzu

                        Serves 6


                        6 small red-snapper fillets (cod, halibut, or sea bass can be substituted)
                        1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
                        2 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic
                        1/3 cup olive oil, plus extra for coating casserole
                        2 tablespoons grated ginger
                        5 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
                        1/4 cup Italian-parsley leaves
                        1/3 cup white wine or sake
                        1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
                        3 tablespoons soy sauce
                        Maldon sea salt and cracked black pepper
                        2 yuzu
                        Handful shredded nori

                        Cooking Instructions
                        Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

                        Lightly coat a large, heavy casserole dish with oil. Place fish fillets with the skin side up to cover the bottom of the dish. Scatter tomatoes evenly over the fish. Put garlic and 1/3 cup oil in a small saucepan, and heat over medium until the garlic turns golden and is slightly crunchy (make sure it doesn't burn). Immediately pour garlic and hot oil over fish and tomatoes. Dot fish evenly with small pinches of ginger. Distribute scallion slices and parsley over the fish (reserve some for the garnish). Pour in the lemon juice, soy, and wine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast uncovered for approximately 25 minutes, until the fish is cooked through but not dry.

                        To serve, place 1 fillet in a bowl. Spoon the juices over the fish so that it floats in a shallow broth. Grate yuzu zest over each portion, scatter additional parsley and shredded nori on top, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, before the nori becomes soggy.

                        1. This is pure summer to me, a simple tomato pie, and I even cheat with premade pie crusts:
                          Blind bake a pie crust in a 9" pan until brown, prick with a fork to avoid swelling. Alternate layers (don't be afraid to stack it rather tall as it will shrink while baking) of thinly sliced tomato, Vidalia (sweet) onion and thinly grated cheddar and monterrey jack, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
                          Bake @ 325 for about 25-30 minutes, it will look ready when it is done, this isn't rocket science.
                          Oh yes, I cover the crust with foil while baking so it does not brown too much.
                          I also like this cold the next day rather like cold pizza..

                          1. Pasta with a lobster-sausage cream sauce. Can't really go wrong.
                            A simple cobbler of blackberries and blueberries, with an unsweetened biscuit topping.
                            The roasted tomato tart I made last week (cornmeal crust) seems like a contender, but maybe that's because it's recent. Did I make anything exceptional in June?? Can't remember.
                            I had raspberry fool one night that was just amazing. Hardly counts as cooking, though, just crushed raspberries, whipped cream and honey - but excellent, picked-that-day berries, pasteurized-but-not-ultra-pasteurized local cream, raw honey. Fantastic.

                            1. So many tomato recipes...mine is too. I just made this the other night, usually I don't think tomatoes go as well with parsley as they do with basil, but I guess that's where the fresh tomatoes come in.

                              Shrimp and tomato risotto.
                              I used 1 small white spring onion, some chopped garlic, add to butter and cook until translucent. add risotto rice ( i will skip the risotto directions). add heirloom tomatoes and chopped parsley about 1/2 way through cooking time. add shrimp at the end, a little squeeze of lemon goes well too. (of course s& p along the way)

                              1. Great recipes provided thus far!! I have to confess that summer is never my favorite time of the year to cook and this year was no exception...running off to the beach consisted of cooking a quick Trader Joe's pizza, wrapping back in foil and popping back into the box for the pups...BUT for the adults I did make a simple recipe of ripe cherry tomatoes tossed in olive oil with lots of sea salt and pepper and tons of chopped garlic. Bake 400 oven for 50 minutes and pop under the broiler...added fresh basil at end (courtesy of Boston Globe mag). Used on top of toasted bread at the beach and made some last night to toss with linguine and fresh cheese tomorrow night!!
                                Also made grilled shrimp with feta and tomatoes from Sheila Lukin in one of the Sunday Parade sections of the paper...it was great!!!

                                1. I have been living on a salad of organic avocados and heirloom tomatoes with a touch of fleur de sel and lime juice. My local co-op has avocados that are so gold and rich, they are incredible. Add a nice piece of bread or a quick quesedilla on the grill, and there's a simple summer meal.

                                  1. I have a few faves:

                                    Couscous salad stuffed into hollowed tomatoes
                                    Soft-poached egg over arugula salad
                                    Gado-gado (or at least, my very unauthentic version)
                                    Sushi salad (basically, all the ingredients tossed together instead of rolled up)
                                    Summer rolls

                                    And because I'm me, I make these all vegetarian.

                                    1. I forgot to mention my favorite: Tomato Sandwich. It is sliced tomatoes (beefsteak is especially good, but use whatever is fresh off the vine) on bread (homemade whole wheat is great) with mayo and perhaps a bit of salt and pepper. That's it. Stand over the sink to eat it because it's so juicy. YUM.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Anya L

                                        My fav too!! And one addition....a couple of thin slices of spanish onion...mmmm

                                        1. re: Anya L

                                          exactly what i've been living on all summer!

                                          1. re: Anya L

                                            Beefsteak tomato sandwiches are the highlight of my summers. I usually eat them until I get cankers and have to stop. Try spreading fresh basil pesto as well as the mayo. It makes it really messy, a definite over-the-sink sandwich, but it also adds a bit of flair, not that fresh tomatoes need much.

                                          2. Every summer I like making a vegetable soup recipe I got out of Soup Suppers by Arthur Schwartz. You basically layer veggies from watery varieties to more starchy, steam rather than boil and viola (not the lady) you have soup. It is a great use of summers bounty.


                                            1. Please note that an offshoot of this discussion about using loads of tomatoes has been moved to its own thread at: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                              1. Forgot--made killer-good grilled artichokes with creamy herb sauce early in the summer.
                                                (I'm heading out the door--can post recipe later if someone desires...)

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Funwithfood

                                                  Please post--I love artichokes in any form....

                                                2. Ethiopina Lentil Salad

                                                  Cook some lentils, not too soft or too hard, and cool with cold water. Drain thoroughly. Toss with a little bit of cider vinegar and salt (you can get away with Italian dressing, Caesar is a bit much), add thin-sliced fresh jalapenos if you wish, serve at room temperature.

                                                  1. Went to a pick your own orchard nearby - recommended by someone I was chatting with at CSA pickup - and everything (peaches, plums, nectarines, apples) were 65 cents a pound. We went totally overboard and brought back 27 pounds of fruit...

                                                    I'm not a big fan of plums, but the ones there were amazing. This plum galette recipe from Epicurious made me see plums in a completely different light: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                                                    1. Huckleberry ice cream. I made the custard base from Alice Waters' "Fruit" cookbook: 1 cup milk, 1/3 cup sugar, heat to dissolve sugar, drizzle into 4 egg yolks, return to pan and heat to 170°, combine with 1 3/4 cups heavy cream, refrigerate overnight. (No vanilla--I decided it got in the way of the fruit flavor.) Combine with puree from 3 cups huckleberries (I put them through the food mill with the fine disc to keep the seeds out), process 30 min. in the Cuisinart ice cream maker, pack into a container and freeze at least 4 hours.

                                                      1. I made Coffee Ice Cream (from Chez Panisse Desserts, I got the recipe from an old thread here, actually), and it was OUTSTANDING. The person who posted the recipe before said to steep the beans longer, which was a good rec, I steeped for about an hour but next time I'll do closer to an hour and a half. Next time I'll use only 1/2 cup sugar, because it was too sweet for my taste. Other than that, though, it was incredible. I might need to make it again today, actually.

                                                        1 cup half-and-half
                                                        2 cups whipping cream (not heavy cream)
                                                        3/4 cup sugar
                                                        1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp coffee beans
                                                        6 egg yolks
                                                        1 to 2 tsp vanilla extract

                                                        Warm the half-and-half, cream, sugar, and coffee beans in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Let it steep over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the coffee flavor is strong enough for you. Do not let the mixture simmer or boil.

                                                        Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Temper the egg yolks with about 1/2 cup of the warm cream mixture, pouring it into the yolks slowly and whisking constantly. Return the warmed yolks to the cream mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and chill in the refrigerator until cold, at least 2 hours.

                                                        Add vanilla extract to taste and freeze the mixture according to the directions with your ice cream maker.