Summer Standouts

In my recipe repertoire, I earmark a selection of staples specifically for summer. Unlike the comforting fruit desserts I adore in the fall or the hearty braises I make each winter, these special dishes are effortless and light and speak to a season that’s about simplicity, not excess.
Nothing could be simpler to make—or more appealing to eat on a hot July day—than a tangle of linguine dressed with lemon juice and olive oil and tossed with shrimp, green onions, parsley, and slivers of asparagus. Penne pasta coated in a nutty arugula-walnut pesto sauce is a perfect potluck pick. A versatile corn salad can serve as a vegetable side dish or a bright salsa for everything from grilled chicken to fish tacos throughout the season. And because no summer meal is complete without something sweet and fizzy to drink, I keep a pitcher of sparkling mint lemonade at the ready in the fridge.

Fruit-studded granola bars are my final summer standby. They provide ample energy for on-the-go fun and, like all my summer favorites, are as suited to enjoy at home as they are to pack up for an impromptu picnic in the park. Read more…