There’s no doubt about it: When the Fourth of July arrives, summer is officially — and fleeting — here. Mark the holidays with these dishes (and many, many more) from DailyExpertNews Cooking. Whether you’re in charge of the grill – are you focusing on chicken or veggies this year? — or the sides, we’ve got recipes to make your day.
Steak gets intensely flavorful in this version of a Puerto Rican favorite from Von Diaz. The meat is given a garlicky adobo marinade before grilling, and after it’s nicely charred, it’s slathered with wasakaka, a Dominican parsley and cilantro sauce, tangy with lime juice. You can marinate the meat and make the sauce a day in advance, so all you have to do at your party is grill. GENEVA CO
Celebrate the holidays with summer tomatoes in this preview from Ali Slagle. She intensifies the taste of the fresh fruit with sun-dried tomatoes and lots of fresh herbs. Chopped nuts add crunch and make this a hearty main course for vegetarians. GK
Recipe: Pasta salad with double tomato
Nearly a decade ago, Kim Severson reported from the south, “what exactly is a real cobbler is the kind of question that can lead to conversations more intense than those about football or God.” She adapted this version with flaky pie crusts from noted cookbook author Edna Lewis. It highlights seasonal peaches in a filling baked with bits of raw dough trimmings that result in a thicker, buttery fruit sauce. GK
Based on a sweet brown sugar syrup and dark Caribbean rum, this recipe from Brigid Washington for a Trinidadian favorite is clear with lime and warm with a little nutmeg. “Every note sings, slaps, reverberates!” wrote Alexa Weibel, who tested the recipe. “It tastes like sunshine.” And, best of all, it makes enough for a crowd.
What’s a summer cookout without coleslaw? This Kay Chun version is the platonic ideal, packed with two types of cabbage, carrots, and a few celery seeds for an earthy complexity. Leftovers, if you have any, are great as a topping for all your grilling favorites.
“This is the perfect macaroni salad.” Millie Peartree’s recipe gets a little bit of sweetness from some sugar and carrots. But do as Millie recommends and use a more savory brand of mayonnaise as a complement for the ultimate barbecue side.
Recipe: Macaroni Salad
Calabrian neonates, a preserved spice made with baby fish and hot peppers, it is often sprinkled over pasta, pizza, or grilled bread. In this recipe, it dresses vegetables fresh off the grill. This version from Kay Chun is dotted with sliced salami or soppressata for a little extra meaty saltiness against the anchovies and olives. Prepare the neonata in advance, if you like, for effortless entertainment, and keep any extras for up to a week to keep the party going.
With this recipe, which Millie Peartree got from her mother Millie Bell, your guests will be asking, “Who made the potato salad?” And in the best possible way. Sweet flavor balances out the rich potatoes, which, according to Millie, you need to be careful not to overcook: “You want potato salad, not mashed potatoes.”
Recipe: Classic Potato Salad
A vinaigrette powered by hot mustard powder infuses these Kay Chun green beans. They are dressed while still hot so that the sauce can be absorbed into each crunchy, tender bite. Chopped toasted pecans, showered at the end, give a little extra crunch to this dish that can be served — gracefully — warm or at room temperature so you can mingle while it sits.
Recipe: Green bean salad with warm mustard dressing
This recipe will make you feel like you’re eating by the sea, as each flask is topped off with that mid-Atlantic favorite: Old Bay. Emily Fleischaker gives you options for cooking them: grilled or cooked on the stovetop. But make sure to spread them with the drenched butter and finish with a squeeze of lemon.
Recipe: Corn on the Cob with Old Bay and Lemon
Here’s a potato salad that you can actually linger on, without the fuss. Charred scallions and tahini feature in this Melissa Clark recipe, which skips the mayonnaise entirely so you can turn it off and focus on what really matters: the people around you.
There’s nothing like a great summer peach, but a high-season mango might just be better. (Fighting words? Possibly.) Vietnamese green papaya salad serves as the inspiration for this refreshing salad from Kay Chun. Look for ripe, juicy mangoes, whose bright flavor pairs well with the lime-fish sauce dressing, and whose tenderness contrasts with the crunchy snow peas. If you can’t find good mangoes, don’t worry: there’s room for peaches here too.
Recipe: Mango-Avocado Salad With Lime Vinaigrette
Make the most of a pound of ground beef with these burgers from Kay Chun. The addition of cremini mushrooms adds earthiness and juiciness to a great extent. Treat them like any regular beef burger: sprinkle with cheese and whatever you like – and see if anyone can spot the secret ingredient. (Still, if it’s a classic grilled burger you’re after, there’s always Sam Sifton’s recipe.)
Recipe: Mushroom Beef Burgers
Yossy Arefi, arguably the queen of snack cakes, has once again gifted us this lemony raspberry cake with cornmeal. It has just the right amount of zest from the tart berries and lemon zest, and cornmeal gives it a pleasing texture. Feel free to omit the frosting if you want a little less creasing. Otherwise, top it off with a generous drizzle and watch it disappear, slice by spotless slice. (And if there’s a more traditional lemon cake on offer for you, this Bundt cake from Yossy could do the trick, too.)
Raw broccoli meets dried fruit in this classic Southern broccoli salad. This Kay Chun version is sweet from a tablespoon of sugar and a half cup of golden raisins, a nice contrast to the sour vinegar and invigorating red onion. It gets better with time, so prepare it early and keep it in the fridge until ready to serve, then top it off with crispy bacon. For a vegan take (especially great for a long sit in the sun), check out Dety McKinnon’s broccoli salad.
Recipe: Southern Broccoli Salad
You don’t need much for these baked beans from Sam Sifton: salt, pepper, onion, bacon, molasses, dry mustard, and navy beans come together for a low-and-slow oven cook for a rich, comforting side.
Recipe: baked beans
You can use limes or lemons for this South Asian drink which is tangy and a bit funky from Himalayan black salt and sea salt. Zainab Shah calls it “nourishing” – and that’s just the right word. It rises as it refreshes, a reprieve from those hot summer days that take the right out of you.
Recipe: Nimbu Pani (Limeade)