What are the summery side dishes you can't wait to make?

The perfect accompaniment to grilled anything? The best way to use that beautiful summer produce? Something else entirely? Tell us below! We want to know about the side dishes you'll be enjoying all summer long.

Emily Kochman


chefrockyrd June 27, 2021
One favorite (of many) from Marian Morash's book, The Victory Garden Cookbook is the corn custard. Made with fresh summer corn, its fabulous and always a winner. Guests always ask for the recipe.
AntoniaJames June 18, 2021
Potato salad, please! Yes I know it can be made all year, but in the summer I put a ton of fresh dill and chives from my garden in it. There is something altogether wonderful about chopping dill fresh from the garden. That tastes like summer to me!

Another favorite: sliced heirloom tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes - I grow both!) sprinkled with tiny pan-fried croutons — using whatever artisanal bread I have on hand (I pop end pieces into the freezer, just for this purpose), I cut it into tiny cubes, thrown them into a hot skillet, and let them toast a bit before drizzling olive oil and sprinkling with salt. I continue to fry until everything is crunchy. Perfect!

(Lately, I’ve been sprinkling with a special salt blend, I recently discovered - it’s garlic and scallion salt blend from the Spice House (https://www.thespicehouse.com/products/garlic-salt - buy it in a flatpack for free shipping!). I generally don’t like dried allium powders, especially garlic salt, but this stuff is fantastic.)

I’ll also make a lot of tomato and cucumber salads with fresh herbs (dill! chives! basil! oregano!) and just a touch of salt. So easy. So delicious!

Finally, this is to my mind one of Food52’s best recipes, ever, yet it is perfectly simply and ideal for the hot weather:

Green peach salad! https://food52.com/blog/2343-crook-s-corner-s-green-peach-salad

I make it using white peaches along with yellow peaches (unripe, of course), and simply lightly salt and sprinkle with chopped basil from the garden. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the juice from the peaches to blend with the salt.

Enjoy the summer! (I’ll post more ideas as they come to me.). ;o)
Penelope B. June 15, 2021
Grilled artichokes with lemon-mustard mayo dip! They are messy to eat, so best served as a casual appetizer outdoors, with individual finger bowls of water and lemon to clean sticky fingers with afterward. Also, steamed crabs dipped in melted butter and Old Bay seasoning - a staple here in Maryland. Both dishes involve a little dexterity, which actually makes them fun to eat, as well as delicious.
Emily K. June 16, 2021
Wow—these look delicious! Love these ideas, thanks so much for sharing, Penelope!
maddiepl June 16, 2021
Can confirm, they were delicious!
Isabel June 17, 2021
I appreciate those who appreciate the joys of finger food! Your account has such great recipes saved, & your pesto website looks very enticing...Do let me know when it is available for cross-country shipping!
702551 June 9, 2021
Ratatouille but it won't happen until August (SF Bay Area).

It also freezes well so in the dead of winter I can defrost a pint of ratatouille from the previous summer and pretend that I'm in Provence.

Emily K. June 10, 2021
Yes to anything that can transport us to Provence in the middle of winter. Love this plan!
Lori T. June 8, 2021
Grilled corn on the cob with various toppings- melted butter, cotija cheese crumbles, Tajin seasoning, "french fried" onion crumbles, just to name a few family favorites. Ripe tomatoes every which way. Stuffed and grilled overgrown squash. Sauteed green beans and tiny tomatos - both red and yellow pear preferable. Ratatouille- though not a side, if there's crusty bread it's a meal all by itself.
Emily K. June 8, 2021
Such great ideas for enjoying summer produce in a variety of ways. Thank you, Lori!
HalfPint June 7, 2021
Tomato sandwiches :)

I'm going to have a lot of summer tomatoes. Went a little overboard with the planting.
Emily K. June 7, 2021
Sounds like you have lots of fantastic meals ahead of you! If you're ever looking for some ways to use them, here are 15 recipes for just that: https://food52.com/blog/26200-summer-vegetable-guide
Emily K. June 7, 2021
Ah, wrong link (but a very handy guide with tomato recipes, too). Here are the 15 recipes: https://food52.com/blog/17738-15-tomatoey-genius-recipes-for-pasta-pizza-salads-such
louisez June 7, 2021
Corn salad, pea salad, succotash, plate of sliced tomatoes
Emily K. June 7, 2021
All delicious things that compliment just about anything—thanks for sharing!
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