POPSUGAR Food

45 Late-Summer Dinners to Make Before the Season Ends

Sep 22 2014 - 3:10am

Though in a few weeks we must bid adieu to daylight savings, warm weather, vacation, and all the other amazing things about Summer, there's still time to snatch up the season's best — think tomatoes, basil, eggplant, corn, peppers, and the like — before it's all gone. Don't know what to do with your bounty? Plan out the following weeks ahead with a few of these recipes that highlight Summer produce in a variety of dishes.

Photos: Nicole Perry


— Additional reporting by Nicole Perry, Aemilia Madden, and Hilary White

Chicken Thighs With Rhubarb-Cucumber Salsa

If you thought rhubarb was just meant for pie, it's time to think again. Brighten up chicken with a salsa made of the bracingly tart vegetable and cool cucumber [1].

Photo: Nicole Perry

Chilled Avocado and Corn Soup

Rather than making little shooters, serve full soup bowls of this creamy, thick raw avocado and corn soup [2], topped with diced tomatoes, spicy jalapeño, and lump crab meat.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Cucumber Avocado Caprese Salad

Make the most of your garden-fresh vegetables by throwing together this avocado- and cucumber-enhanced take on caprese salad [3].

Photo: Jenny Sugar

Braised Chicken With Tomatoes

Braising chicken with the rest of the season's tomatoes [4] is an excellent way to transition from late Summer to early Fall.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Feta and Cherry Quinoa Salad

Make the most of cherry season with a cherry, quinoa, and feta salad [5] that's fast and easy to make and nearly as good as leftovers (a boon for brown-bag lunches).

Photo: Nicole Perry

Greek Salad

You can't enjoy a proper Greek salad [6] without fresh tomatoes! Add crumbly feta cheese, cool cucumbers, and savory onions to create a perfect Isles-inspired dish.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Zucchini and Corn With Parmesan

It doesn't get much simpler than this zucchini, corn, and parmesan side [7].The herb-dusted recipe takes only 10 minutes to prepare and is an effortless way to use up your farmers-market haul.

Pasta With Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

Sometimes the best expressions of seasonal produce are silly simple, and this pesto and roasted tomato pasta [8] is no exception. It may easily become your new favorite thing to whip together.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Creamy Chicken and Corn Soup

This creamy chicken and corn chowder [9] melds the sweet taste of Summer with the hearty flavors of chicken, potato, and bacon.

Watermelon Caprese Salad

Tangy tomatoes meet sweet melon [10] in this colorful salad, proving a delicious match for both your sweet tooth and your savory cravings.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Bacon and Tomato Pasta

A riff on pasta all'amatriciana, this bacon and tomato pasta [11] is ripe with flavor thanks to a generous helping of tomatoes, diced red onion, bacon, and red chili flakes.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Blueberry and Strawberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese

This isn't your mama's grilled cheese. Strawberries, blueberries, balsamic, caramelized onions, and gruyère [12] are packed between two slices of bread.

Source: Cooking on the Weekends [13]

Corn and Zucchini Pie

When you think of pie, your mind may go to cherry [14] or berry varieties, but don't write off a veggie version. This seasonal, savory pie [15] packs a generous dose of corn kernels, zucchini coins, and umami-rich mushrooms inside a buttery crust.

Source: Pinch of Yum [16]

Grilled Lamb With Blackberry Sauce

Though most frequently found in sweet treats, berries also add spunk to savory foods. Top grilled lamb with blackberry sauce [17] for a bright and balanced dish.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Hatch Chile, Corn, and Quinoa Casserole

Packed with hatch chilies, corn, quinoa, and chicken this filling casserole [18] is bursting with Southwestern flavor.

Source: The Adventures of MJ and Hungryman [19]

Baked Eggs With Tomato, Cheese, and Fire-Roasted Eggplant

Tomatoes, cheese, roasted eggplant, and eggs might sound like an odd pairing, but the flavors meld together seamlessly for a vibrant brunch-friendly egg recipe [20].

Photo: Nicole Perry

Zucchini Pesto

This versatile zucchini pesto [21] can be used as a topping for pasta or crostini or simply devoured by the spoonful when no one else is watching.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Rustic Vegetable Galette

This rustic zucchini, tomato, and sheep's-milk cheese galette [22] is a cross between pie and flatbread. Its buttery crust is balanced by a generous helping of fresh veggies and cheese.

Source: Matkonation [23]

Zucchini With Basil, Pine Nuts, and Croutons

Sometimes, the ingredients speak for themselves and require little to no extra seasoning. Zucchini with basil, pine nuts, and croutons [24] is fast, easy to make, and full of flavor.

Source: Not Derby Pie [25]

Breakfast Tacos With Zucchini and Squash

Start your morning on a high note with a plateful of zucchini and squash breakfast tacos [26]. These bites of egg and veggies will help you feel energized all day long.

Source: Cookie + Kate [27]

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Stuff delicate squash blossoms with burrata [28] and serve them with olive tapenade for a fabulous warm-weather appetizer or picnic snack. The ridiculously creamy cheese and briny tapenade bring boldness to these beautiful blooms.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Mediterranean Quiche

Quiche isn't just for brunch; this Mediterranean stunner [29] stuffed with onions, zucchini, red peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes is appropriate anytime.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Zucchini Noodle Egg Drop Soup

For a summery take on egg drop soup [30], add zoodles, aka zucchini noodles.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

Full of tomato flavor thanks to slivers of sun-dried tomatoes, a dressing made from the candy-sweet dried fruit, and halved cherry tomatoes, this pasta salad [31] is destined to become a potluck and backyard BBQ staple.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Squash Casserole

This cheesy squash casserole [32] perfectly bridges the seasonal shift into Fall.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Caprese Quinoa Bake

Perfect as a main dish or a side, this scrumptious bake [33] is filled with fluffy grains and succulent tomatoes, then topped with basil and mozzarella.

Source: Serena Wolf [34]

Squash Blossom Soup

Bursting with the bright flavor of the season's finest, this squash blossom soup [35] is a unique way to combine the fresh produce you have on hand. The light and savory soup, with a little kick thanks to jalapeño, will leave you feeling refreshed.

Chicken Parmesan Sub

There's nothing more satisfying than this chicken parmesan sub [36]. Slathered with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and herbs, this mouthwatering creation is one to add to your sandwich rotation.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Tricked-Out Ramen

You'll never look at plain old ramen the same way again after trying out this tricked-out version [37]. Packed with sweet corn, savory pork, and a perfectly poached egg, the cozy Japanese meal is impossible to resist.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

End-of-Summer Empanada

When you first bite through the crisp crust of a piping-hot empanada, you know you're in for a treat. This end-of-Summer empanada [38] features ripe corn, tomatoes, and peppers, plus the rich flavor of ground pork. This finger food surely won't disappoint.

Source: Kitchenette [39]

Guacamole Mason Jar Salad

If you love the taste of chips and guac, then you must try this mason jar guacamole salad [40]. It's a lightened-up take on your go-to snack.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Caprese Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is a widely adored staple, but sometimes it's nice to mix it up! This caprese version [41] includes all the classic flavors of the salad (tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil) but folded into mac and cheese.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Farmers Market Cornbread

If you're blessed with an abundance of fresh vegetables, dress up your classic cornbread, and create farmers market cornbread with sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, and sheep's cheese [42]. The colorful, sweet, and tangy vegetables transform cornbread into a truly beautiful dish.

Source: The Bojon Gormet [43]

Spicy Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese Croutons

Rather than pairing tomato soup with a grilled cheese, upgrade the classic soup and sandwich [44] by employing crusty cubes of grilled cheese croutons as a garnish. In the off-season, the soup base is best made from canned tomatoes, but while tomatoes are at their peak, sub in four pounds of peeled [45] farmers-market-fresh fruit.

Photo: Nicole Perry

Grilled Peach Salad With Goat Cheese

This grilled peach salad [46] has the right balance of creamy cheese and juicy fruit. It's extremely easy to make and pairs well with barbecued chicken or ribs.

Photo: Katie Sweeney

White Bean Ratatouille

On a night when you're craving a hearty meal that's simple and healthy, whip up a batch of white bean ratatouille [47]. This one-pot recipe combines robust tomatoes and garlic with milder vegetables like zucchini, squash, and eggplant.

Three-Ingredient Tomato Sauce

Once you try Marcella Hazan's iconic three-ingredient tomato sauce [48], you're bound to fall in love. Full of buttery flavor, it's all spaghetti needs to be taken from workaday to weeknight masterpiece (though a few leaves of basil can't hurt!).

Photo: Nicole Perry

Feta-Stuffed Peppers

Feta-stuffed peppers [49] are tart, spicy, and full of Greek flavors like lemon zest, oregano, and Greek yogurt. Plate them with a large, leafy salad dressed in red-wine vinaigrette.

Photo: Katie Sweeney

Quinoa and Tomato Salad

Lunch is served with this quinoa and tomato salad [50]. Tomatoes are abundantly scattered throughout the earthy quinoa.

Source: 30 Seconds with A&J [51]

No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Packed with fresh basil and cherry tomatoes, this Italian pasta recipe [52] comes together in minutes, since the sauce isn't cooked.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Benedictine Cheese Sandwich

Vamp up your typical tea sandwiches; these Benedictine cheese sandwiches [53] add scallions to the traditional cucumbers and cream cheese for a punch of flavor.

Photo: Nancy Einhart

The Obama Family's Chili

Leave it to the Obamas to come up with the ultimate chili [54], starring Summer produce like bell pepper and roma tomatoes. However, this ain't no vegetarian chili; bacon and ground beef (or turkey) bulk it up.

Photo: Sara Yoo

Pesto Pasta Salad

This stunning dish [55] includes both fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, laying the groundwork to win the heart (and stomach) of any tomato-lover. Plus, it's durable enough to pack in the fridge for lunches throughout the week!

Photo: Nicole Perry

Rockfish With Peach Salsa

Buy a boatload of ripe peaches, eat most of them out of hand, and save a few to make peach salsa to use as a sweet-tart topping for flaky, meaty rockfish fillets [56].

Photo: Susannah Chen

Warm Eggplant Sandwich With Mint, Feta, and Hummus

For a lighter dinner, assemble a warm eggplant, mint, and feta sandwich [57]. Layered with Mediterranean-inspired ingredients, this sandwich would taste amazing inside toasted pita instead of bread.

Photo: Nancy Einhart


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