Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer. For anyone except those of us who live in the Bay Area. For us, it’s the peak of summer. The weather warms, the sun shines, the fog lifts, and we relish those two or three balmy evenings where we can sit outside and have a proper summer barbecue. It’s also time to gorge on as much summery produce as we can, before those perfect heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, crisp green beans, fresh herbs, and juicy berries and stone fruit are gone. The following recipes are perfect for celebrating the season, especially with a cold glass of dry rosé in hand.

All Photos by Wendy Goodfriend

Summer Decadence: Crispy Zucchini Fritters with Lemony Yogurt-Herb Dip
Crisp-edged, pan-fried zucchini cakes—like a summery latke—make use of the season’s delicious bounty. Top them off with a flavorful lemony yogurt and herb dip.

Zucchini, Feta, and Green Onion Fritters with Yogurt-Herb-Lemon Dip. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Recipe: Zucchini, Feta, and Green Onion Fritters with Yogurt-Herb-Lemon Dip.

Throw Your Salad on the Grill: Grilled Mushroom, Kale, and Bacon Salad
Grilling meaty mushrooms, especially when brushed with garlic and herb oil, highlights their umami flavors. Tossing them into a kale salad graced with bacon and lemon will highlight your meal.

Grilled King Trumpet Mushroom, Kale, and Bacon Salad with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Recipe: Grilled King Trumpet Mushroom, Kale, and Bacon Salad with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette.

Party food! Grilled Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs with Summer Veggies
From chicken to pork to assorted vegetables, kebabs are deliciously fun to eat, quick to cook, and endlessly versatile. These chicken kebabs are some of my summer favorites.

Yogurt and Herb-Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Cherry Tomatoes and Zucchini. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Recipe: Yogurt and Herb-Marinated Chicken Kebabs with Cherry Tomatoes and Zucchini.

Get Your Sweet Grill On: Grilled Corn, Pepper, Tomato, and Arugula Salad with Feta
Light up the grill, crack open a beer, and throw on some corn and sweet peppers, and voila, you have a memorable salad that will come together in a snap.

Grilled Corn, Sweet Peppers, Heirloom and Cherry Tomato, Feta, Arugula Salad. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Recipe: Grilled Corn, Sweet Peppers, Heirloom and Cherry Tomato, Feta, Arugula Salad.

Summer Italian Potato Salad: Potato and Green Bean Salad with Lemon Pesto Vinaigrette
Looking for a way to sass up your potato salad? This fresh, summery version kicks the mayo to the curb in favor of zingy pesto and lemon vinaigrette.

Baby New Potato and Green Bean Salad with Lemon-Basil Pesto Vinaigrette. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Recipe: Baby New Potato and Green Bean Salad with Lemon-Basil Pesto Vinaigrette.

Bet You Can’t Stop Eating These: Vanilla Pavlovas with Summer Nectarines, Berries, and Cream
Crispy-chewy meringue nests envelop whipped cream and vanilla-scented summer fruit for an ethereal, and gluten-free dessert that is impossible to stop eating.

Crispy-Chewy Vanilla Pavlovas with Whipped Cream and Vanilla-Scented Nectarines and Berries. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Recipe: Crispy-Chewy Vanilla Pavlovas with Whipped Cream and Vanilla-Scented Nectarines and Berries.

Author

Kim Laidlaw

Kim Laidlaw is a cookbook author, editor, food writer, producer, project manager, and baker who has been in the kitchen covered in flour since she was big enough to stir the biscuit dough. She has over 16 years of experience in book and online publishing, and a lifetime of experience in the kitchen. Her first cookbook, Home Baked Comfort, was published in 2011; her second cookbook, Baby & Toddler On the Go, was published in April 2013; and her third cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, was published in October 2013. She was the first blogger on KQED’s Bay Area Bites blog, which launched in 2005, and previously worked as a professional baker at La Farine French Bakery in Oakland, CA. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and their toddler, whom she cooks for everyday. Find out more at http://www.kimlaidlaw.com.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor