Cook from your backyard all season with even more of our favorite summer recipes
We had lots of produce coming out of our summer One-block Feast garden, so the Sunset Food Department dove into our recipe files for more ways to cook all that we grew. Even if you’re buying your produce, you’ll be happy with these tasty, summery suggestions.
Café Azul Rajas con Queso
This tangle of sautéed onions and rajas (roasted chiles, cut into strips) has the simple, direct flavors often found in Mexico’s tacos.
Green Chile-Chicken Stew
A light yet chunky summery stew, loaded with green bell peppers and green chiles ― Anaheims (or poblanos) and serranos.
Halibut Baked in Fresh Green Salsa
Pristine white fish draped with a delicate, creamy poblano-cilantro sauce.
Potato Cheese Chiles
Whole poblanos stuffed with a cheesy mashed-potato filling.
Corn with Mustard Seeds
This Indian-inflected recipe couldn’t be simpler: a handful of ingredients, but a lot of flavor.
Corn for a Crowd
Put out bowls of boiled sweet corn with any of these 10 quick and delicious toppings, from cilantro chili garlic butter to spiced salt.
Sweet Corn Ice Cream
Sweet corn is a favorite ice cream flavor in Mexico, where the kernels are usually stirred in whole. We’ve grated them to extract their sweet, milky liquid and used the kernels and liquid as part of the custard base.
Peanut Cucumber Salad
A tangy, simply dressed cucumber salad that complements almost any meal.
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Jicama Salad
Three different kinds of crunch.
In Japanese snack bars, edamame ― green soybeans ― are as popular as salted peanuts are in beer pubs around the West.
A fast, fresh appetizer. Serve with a little dish of soy sauce.
Shiitake and Edamame Salad with White Miso Vinaigrette
Savory browned shiitakes, dense edamame, and piles of butter lettuce.
Fried Sliced Garlic (Toi Chien)
Sprinkle these tasty, crisp slices on soups, noodles, and Vietnamese-style grilled-meat salads
Garlic Smashed-Potato Salad
This chunky potato salad is a cool summer version of everybody’s favorite garlic mashed potatoes.
Lemon-Garlic Shrimp Skewers
Easy to make, easy to eat, and very summery.
Herbs (basil, rosemary, thyme, chives, peppermint, oregano, and marjoram)
Pocket Bread Crisps
Baked till crunchy, the herby bread is an ideal partner for salad or soup.
Classic Basil Pesto
This recipe, originally published (in narrative form) in a 1959 issue of Sunset, was one of the first pesto recipes in the United States.
New York Strip Steaks with Orange and Oregano
These simple grilled steaks are great with marjoram, too.
Honey-Thyme Summer Salad
Talk about stretching the flavor envelope: Here we have sweet nectarines, prosciutto, chives, arugula, and almonds, sparked with the summery taste of thyme.
Minty Tabbouleh with Preserved Lemon
Tabbouleh gets a zingy makeover, thanks to aromatic mint and salty, tangy preserved lemon. Our version complements grilled meats of all sorts.
Rice and Rosemary Blossom Salad
A beautiful and aromatic salad.
Grilled Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary
Butterflied, stuffed with slivers of garlic and sprigs of rosemary, and crisped over coals.
Frosty Lemon Martini
Refreshing but powerful, with a sugared rim.
Tuna, Lemon, Fennel, and Black-olive Salad on Sourdough Rolls
This tasty spin on the ordinary mayo-celery tuna salad was inspired by the Sicilian tuna sandwich at the San Francisco branch of ‘Wichcraft, a New York sandwich shop.
Lemon Shortbread Cheesecake
A smooth, delicate cheesecake. Lemon zest in the crust brings out the tang of the cheese.
Grilled Beef with Lemongrass and Garlic (Bo Nuong Xa Toi)
A classic over noodles; also works with steamed rice.
Lemongrass Coconut Sorbet
Superb after a spicy meal.
Marinated Melons with Mint and Feta
Melons and feta is a classic combination in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Melon and Shrimp Salad
A zingy concoction seasoned with fresh ginger, makrut (kaffir) lime leaves, herbs, and chiles.
Slowly cooked until they are sweet, dark-brown, and meltingly tender, caramelized onions are delicious in pasta, on soups, and over roasted meats and fish.
Grilled Pork Chops with Brown-Sugar Brine and Onion-Peach Marmalade
The beautiful, tangy onion-peach marmalade is what makes this dish a star.
Marinated Grilled Vegetables
Along with pattypan squash, a pile of vegetables to tuck into sandwiches with soft, fresh goat cheese or eat with grilled meats or fish.
Summer Garden Squash Soup
Good hot or cold, and works as a starter or for lunch.
Lemon-Dill Potato Salad
The bright and fresh flavors of this delicate potato salad are delicious paired with fish or chicken.
If you use buttermilk, this soup will have a pleasant tang; cream, on the other hand, brings out the flavor of the watercress and potato. Serve soup hot or cold.
Garlic French Fries
Utterly delicious, extremely garlicky crisp fries from chef Hugo Matheson of the Kitchen, in Boulder, CO. Worth the trouble.
French Tomato Tart
The flavors of southern France ― anchovies, olives ― mingle with tomatoes in a buttery crust.
Grilled Bread with Tomato
Catalans, who consider grilled bread with tomato the ultimate comfort food, often rub both sides of the toast with garlic and tomato and top it with anchovy fillets; another common topping is serrano ham.
Bart’s Ultimate BLT
“When the first of the tomatoes come in, I have to have a BLT,” says Bart Hosmer. who gave us this recipe when he was chef at Parcel 104 restaurant in Santa Clara, CA. “It is the quintessential tomato dish.”
Tomatoes in Spicy Yogurt Sauce
The tomatoes are warmed, not fully cooked, in the sauce, leaving their softly solid texture intact. Serve them alongside broiled, grilled, or steamed fish and be sure to have plenty of rice to soak up the sauce.
Tiered Tomato Soup
Layer two cold, pretty soups ― one tomato, one avocado ― in a glass.
Grilled Zucchini with Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette
Skewered zucchini, brushed with this herbaceous vinaigrette, sizzles on the grill beside whatever else you’re cooking (lamb is good, or fish).
Creamy Basil Zucchini Soup
A mild, soothing little soup.
Mexican Zucchini and Eggs
Shredded and cooked over high heat, the zucchini loses moisture and drops in volume fast. Then, to make the mixture moist and creamy, in go farm-fresh eggs. Serve it with salsa and warm flour tortillas.
You can’t taste the zucchini in these cookies, but it adds vitamins, fiber, and a nice moist texture. Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour.