Summer is full of the flavors we crave year-round. When our most-anticipated food season finally arrives, we can’t get enough of summer vegetables and fruits. We grow as many tomatoes, okra, peppers, and herbs as our backyard gardens will support, but we still make midweek trips to the curb market and fill our baskets at the Pepper Place Saturday Market. We feel it’s our duty as Southerners to eat as much okra, corn, peas (every single kind of field pea we can get our hands on!), tomatoes, figs, peaches, blueberries, and blackberries as possible. And recipes that combine multiple summer jewels are even better by us!
As local tomatoes come in and summer’s bounty thrives, here’s what we’ll be preparing for family and friends.
Heirloom Tomato-Watermelon Salad: Two summer stars come together in this bright dish that’s sweet, tangy, and oh so refreshing. And the best part? It’s ridiculously easy to make.
Fig-Glazed Pork and Okra Kabobs: There are so many things we love about this recipe. First, kabobs are a super-easy way to entertain during the summer, and they make a quick weeknight supper. Second, if you’ve never had grilled okra, let us just tell you… It’s the best way to eat it. The open flames crisp it to perfection in just a few minutes—no frying required!
Salted Watermelon Sherbet Bars: Is there a more classic summer combination than watermelon and salt? These icebox bars, with their waffle cone crust, are a creamy and dreamy escape from the summer heat.
Pickled Sweet Corn: We want to eat this pickled corn on everything from tacos to grilled chicken. It lasts up to 1 month in the refrigerator, so make an extra batch when fresh corn arrives by the bushel this summer.
Bacon-Barbecue Burgers: Extravagant? Yes! Worth it? Every single bite is Southern heaven on a homemade bun. Yep! Homemade. (Our reader, Leigh Breedlove Kimberling, must have the best cookouts in St. Louis!)