6 Recipes for the First Day of Summer

6 Recipes for the First Day of Summer
  • Written on June 18, 2021 By Chef Stanley Martin

Is your family tired of eating the same meals every other week? With the first day of summer coming up on Sunday, June 20, it’s the perfect time to ditch your usual recipes and switch things up in the kitchen using seasonal ingredients like zucchini, tomatoes and peaches. Here are 6 summer-inspired recipe ideas that your family will be drooling over:

  1. A lettuce-less salad: Because, who’s kid has ever asked for more lettuce? Replace the green base with in-season cherry tomatoes. Mix with cannellini or garbanzo beans for protein, parsley for taste and top it with an easy homemade dressing with garlic, thinly sliced red onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper for a refreshingly easy summer salad. Complete this easy dish with a sprinkle of thinly shaved parmesan – it makes for a great entrée, or even a side dish to a fresh cut of fish or chicken straight off the grill!
  2. Black bean burgers: Don’t leave your vegetarian friends out when you’re cooking burgers on the grill – let them join in on the bbq fun with these hearty black bean versions. Mash up beans and one egg in a bowl and add in breadcrumbs, onion, mayo, and your favorite spices. Mold them into patties, drop on the grill and cook until crisp, around 4 minutes per side. Top with some chipotle ketchup, guacamole or even hummus for a filling meal.
  3. Barbequed strawberry chicken: Strawberries are a seasonal favorite in the summer, so we couldn’t leave them off our recipe list! Brown your favorite cut of chicken then top with brown sugar, vinegar, honey and barbeque sauce – if you want to make your own sauce, try this one! Once the sauce thickens, place in the oven for 12-15 minutes and stir in some fresh strawberries when it’s done. Whether you went strawberry picking with the family or bought them at the grocery store, the tasty fruit adds a light crunch and sweetness to the dish.
  4. Zucchini lasagna: The craze for zucchini noodles or “zoodles” isn’t new, but this zucchini lasagna makes the classic summer vegetable kid-friendly – they won’t even notice you hid veggies in this cheesy lasagna. Simmer one leek and garlic in olive oil and butter, then spread onto the bottom of a baking dish for your base. Add a layer of lasagna noodles, cheese, thinly sliced zucchini, and a layer of green peas and repeat until you reach the top. To get that perfect oven-baked cheesy crust and an Instagram-worthy cheese pull, make sure the last layer is shredded mozzarella.
  5. Picnic pasta: Whether your picnic is in the backyard, at a park or in your kitchen, this pasta dish is the summer combination you are looking for. Mix together diced fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, garlic cloves and olive oil in a bowl – you can also add in any other veggie you want. Stir cooked penne pasta into the mix and you’ve got a delicious pasta salad that’s great whether it’s hot or cold.
  6. Peach crisp: Sweeten up the first day of summer with a dessert packed with fresh, in-season peaches. Mix flour, butter, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon until it becomes a crumb-like consistency. In a cast iron skillet, place in some peaches, ginger, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Pour your flour mixture on top of the peaches and bake for 30 minutes. Don’t forget vanilla ice cream to put on top!

We hope these recipes help get you as excited as we are for the start of summer. Feel free to make more and invite your Stanley Martin Homes neighbors to join in on some delicious summer fun!