12 Warm-Weather Recipes We're Making in August Because It's Still Summer, Dang It

Peach cobbler, tuna toast, and your best-ever steamed eggplant.

July 30, 2021
Photo by Ty Mecham

I was raised by a family of schoolteachers, which meant that we all dreaded the month of August. The school season was just around the corner and thus, the end of summer was drawing near. In our house, you weren’t allowed to ask “when’s the first day of school?” or turn to my parents and say, “oh, are you excited to go back to work?” You would swiftly be cut off before you could finish the sentence because who wants to think about going back to school in the middle of July? 

But in August’s defense, there are some pretty wonderful things that happen this month, too. A streak of beautiful weather, and a bounty of incredible produce to take advantage of. Think eggplant, tomatoes, corn on the cob (finally!!!), plus sweet berries and stone fruit. So don’t think about the list of school supplies that will soon show up in the mail or the fact that you have to eat a cafeteria lunch at 10:58 a.m. For now, embrace several more weeks of summer with these recipes to make all throughout the month of August. They’ve all been hand-picked by our editorial team, so you know they’re good.

1. Vegetarian Paella

“One word on why I can't wait to make this recipe: soccarat. But in all seriousness, crispy, perfumed rice with all the August produce is my ideal weekend plan (along with a hoppy beer, of course). It's also a great recipe for hosting a few friends because it's naturally one pot and doesn't need to be stirred a single time while it cooks, so you can hang out without also babysitting your dinner.” —Brinda Ayer, Director of Content

2. Grilled Tofu Cabbage Cups With Garlicky Yogurt

“Rebecca's grilled tofu cabbage cups are at the top of my to-do list. Garlicky yogurt! Cucumber, tomato, and onion! All for less than a few bucks a serving! Exactly what I want for dinner most nights.” —Emma Laperruque, Food Editor

3. Cacio e Pepe Panzanella With Corn & Burrata

“There’s a reason why cacio e pepe is so popular—it’s grown-up macaroni and cheese! But it’s also a warm and hearty comfort food, which doesn’t exactly scream summer. When I’m craving the ultra-satisfying combination of salty Parmesan cheese and sharp black pepper in the middle of August, I’ll make this seasonal salad that calls for fresh corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, and creamy burrata cheese instead.” —Kelly Vaughan, Staff Writer

4. Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce With Onion & Butter

“Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce With Onion & Butter is so iconic, so fundamental to our kitchen repertoire, that it essentially exists outside space and time. It's as good here as it is there, as tasty in July as it is in January, thanks to the year-round availability of high-quality canned tomatoes (and onions and butter, the only other ingredients). But do yourself a favor and make it this month with those splurge-worthy heirloom babes from the farmers market; fresh tomatoes add an extra dimension of pep and liveliness that's outta this world.” —CB Owens, Copy Editor

5. Best Kimbap (Seaweed & Rice Rolls)

“I love rice in all its forms, but one of my favs is kimbap. It's easy to make and you can use any ingredients you have on hand.” —Jada Wong, Market Editor

6. Kamut Dutch Baby with Strawberries and Thyme

A Dutch baby is basically a giant pancake, which is amazing as is. But top it with macerated juicy strawberries and a honey glaze and it becomes a dessert that you’ll dream about until next summer.” —Kelly Vaughan, Staff Writer

7. Renee Erickson’s Peach Cobbler with Hot Sugar Crust

“Because we’re in peak peach season and because it’s one of those slam-dunk recipes that comes together pretty easily. Warning: You will experience great discomfort when you get to the step of pouring hot water all over your cobbler. But soldier on, because that hot sugar crust is something!” —Arati Menon, Editorial Lead for Home52

8. Easy Summer Pasta

The title says it all, but this pasta dish really does have all the makings of the perfect summer dinner—cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant—plus penne pasta and plenty of cheese for good measure. Pour me a glass of rosé, sit me down in a comfy lawn chair, and I’ll be set for a few hours...or days.” —Kelly Vaughan, Staff Writer

9. Sugared Berries With Caraway Cream

“I’ve lost count of the number of times I say ‘caraway cream’ to someone and they crinkle their nose—only to try it and completely change their mind. This recipe is on heavy rotation in our home.I just swap out the berries each time to mix things up. In fact, I’m thinking of making myself a bowl as I type…” —Arati Menon, Editorial Lead for Home52

10. Tuna Toasts With Spice-Dusted Tomatoes

“This is one of those recipes I'll make when all I want to eat is tomato toast, but need a ‘full’ meal—peak-season summer tomatoes are ideal here, but the fennel-cumin-chile flake dusting over the tomatoes makes even less-than-perfect tomatoes taste decent. Sometimes I put potato chips directly on top and toast a second slice of bread for a more formal, extremely crunchy and juicy sandwich: the dream.” —Rebecca Firkser, Assigning Editor

11. Seasoned Steamed Eggplant

“It's eggplant season! Steamed until creamy, tossed with light and dark soy sauces and white and black vinegars, Betty Liu's eggplant starts as a side, but quickly becomes dinner—I'll toss it with cooked grains and some torn tofu straight from the fridge, maybe some sliced cucumber. —Rebecca Firkser, Assigning Editor

12. Almond-Peach Cobbler

“Six, count ’em SIX, peaches are used for this sweet cobbler recipe that’s the perfect dessert to make during August. Hosting friends for the first time since the pandemic started? It’s going to be weird, social cues have gone out the window...but when you present this dessert with some vanilla ice cream (especially if it’s homemade and freshly churned), none of that will matter.” —Kelly Vaughan, Staff Writer

What are your favorite things to cook or bake at the height of the summer heat? Let us know in the comments below!

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Former Food52 Staff Editor