Don’t you love it when you wake up and it’s already cheery and bright? It’s so much easier to get out of bed and greet the day—and the sunshine always lifts the spirits. The summer solstice, or midsummer, is when Earth’s axis is most tilted towards the sun. In our Northern Hemisphere, that’s usually around June 20th. What it means is that you can see the sun in the sky for most hours of the day in the entire year—in other words, long, lovely summer days that stretch on well into the evening.
A Latin term, the solstice has historically been a big reason to rejoice, feast, and mark the annual occasion. Why not celebrate with some delicious recipes of the season spotlighting farm-fresh ingredients? Here are our top five choices for the best summer dishes for your outdoor dining table. Savor summer!
Summer salad stunner
Clementine Fennel Potatoes is gorgeous, light, and loaded with interesting flavors: anise-laced fennel bulb and Greek ouzo, fresh thyme, refreshing citrus, the zip of mustard, and silky Little Yellows—all roasted until nicely caramelized. Serve as an accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken (or for vegetarians, garbanzos). This recipe also makes an ideal potluck side dish.
Potato meets pasta salad twist
You’re looking for a traditional-style potato salad, but why not try something a little more interesting? You want Chicken Bacon Ranch Potato Pasta Salad, and it’s far from bland. This dish is a savory, creamy combo of diced chicken breast and crumbled bacon, with grated cheddar, Ranch dressing, spiral-cooked pasta, and quick-to-make microwave ready A Little Garlic & Parsley.
Crispy fried onion adds depth, texture, and richness to the taste. Bring it in your picnic basket to the beach as a meal-in-one and complement it with juicy watermelon slices for dessert.
Devilled potato nibbles
Devilled Eggs we know, but what about Devilled Potatoes? Everyone will love these cute bites: roasted Little Trios pureed with mayo, pickle relish, smoked paprika, Dijon, and tangy apple cider vinegar. (Use vegan mayo if you prefer a plant-based version.) Serve as a barbecue side, potluck table addition, or healthy dinner party appetizer. Garnish with fresh chopped dill to complete the pretty picture.
Easy dinner outside on the grill
No one feels like heating up the kitchen when it’s warm and sunny out. Use the BBQ instead. Grill Roasted Potatoes in Foil not only cook out on the deck or patio, but you also won’t need any pots or pans either. Buttery-tasting Creamer’s steam in a foil packet with a dash of olive oil, purple onions, feta, and Italian or Greek seasonings.
Then serve with your favorite farmers’ market zucchini, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and summer squash—sautéed in the grill basket over the fire, of course. Eat it hot off the barbecue, or refrigerate and save for lunch tomorrow—or dinner shore-side at the lake with some cold drumsticks and a chilled sauvignon blanc or chardonnay.
If you’re picturing a cerveza with lime or a blended margarita with Mexican on the patio, this one’s for you—and you can prepare either a vegan or non-vegan version. Serve smooth, grassy avocados with Potato and Chorizo Tacos, a perfect hot weather dish. Sauté boiled, slightly sweet Little Reds with spicy, smoky chorizo (or soy chorizo) and fresh pico de gallo in olive oil.
Then stir in chopped cilantro and fill soft corn tortillas with the mixture. Top with more pico de gallo, salsa, sour cream, shaved cabbage, and avocado slices, squeeze with zesty lime, and add lime wedges on the side. If you can find moist, tender, from-scratch tortillas at a Mexican grocery store or tortilla factory, that’ll push this plato from bueno to over-the-top.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SUMMER LITTLE POTATOES RECIPE? SHARE IT!