The best way to learn about a new place is tasting its food: through the flavors we can know more about the traditions and history of the people who live in these places.
Experimenting with new ingredients makes life interesting and if the foods are especially nutrient-dense — even better. They are so high in vitamins, minerals, and other healing compounds that health experts call them superfoods. In their countries of origin, these berries, nuts, plants, and seeds have been used for thousands of years to holistically medicate the body or just add yumminess to everyday, wholesome meals.

Steak Salad with Arugula and Parmesan Cheese

Steak Salad

When summer finally hits its stride, you begin to understand Italian food.

Think of figs, arranged on a pretty plate and drizzled with honey. Or perfect peaches macerated in white wine and strewn with lavender. Or fresh-picked, fat asparagus, peeled, steamed, doused with fruity olive oil and topped with finely shaved shards of Parmesan Cheese.

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Lentil Salad with Arugula and Feta

Lentil Salad with Arugula and Feta

I could eat this salad every day! It has all the elements I love in a salad: something crunchy (pine nuts and red onions), something salty and tangy (sherry vinaigrette and feta cheese), something sweet (dried currants), and some tasty greens (peppery arugula).

It makes a great lunch all by itself when you’re in the mood for a salad. It also pairs well with anything coming off the grill or with simple roast chicken if you want to serve it for dinner.

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Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

Fellow gardeners, you know this tale well. You step away from your garden bed for 1 minute (or a weekend) and come back to find a monster zucchini hiding in the greenery.

Sometimes the plant warns you. Regular zucchini production starts slowing down, odd for early summer. The reason? All of the plant’s attention is going to feeding that one humungous baseball bat of a zuke.

Fortunately, those ginormous zucchinis are perfect for stuffing!

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BBQ Bacon Jalapeño Poppers

BBQ Bacon Jalapeño Poppers

This post is brought to you in partnership with Stubb’s Bar-B-Que 

As we all know, bacon makes everything better. You know what, though? So does barbecue sauce!

These spicy grilled jalapeño poppers are stuffed with an addictive mix of Stubb’s Sticky Sweet Bar-B-Q Sauce, cheddar and cream cheese, and glazed bacon before being grilled until hot and bubbly.

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Mint and Lime Mojito

Mojito

We can wax on about the glory of the mojito – this perfect concoction of rum, mint, sugar, lime juice, and sparkling water — but I’m guessing you won’t need a lot of convincing in that regard.

Instead, let’s discuss the building of the mojito, which in my opinion, is what distinguishes a “good” mojito from a “truly incredible” mojito.

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Grilled Sausage and Mushroom Bowls

I get so excited when grilling season arrives because it means easy dinners and easy cleanup!

These grilled sausage and veggie grain bowls are quick, healthy, and vibrant. I find them to be a perfect weeknight meal, but they’re also nice enough to serve company!

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Mixed Berry Chia Seed Jam

Mixed Berry Chia Seed Jam

Berries, berries, berries! Nothing beats a bowl of ripe berries on a hot summer day.

I often get carried away at the farmers market and buy far more berries than I can eat within a week. One way I use up the extras is making this easy chia seed jam!

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Blueberry Pie

When blueberries are in season, what better to do with them (other than eating them straight from the basket) than make blueberry pie?

Blueberries have been found to be a “superfood”, so good for you that you should go out of your way to eat them. (As if we need a reason, right?)

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Sautéed Zucchini with Dill

Sautéed Zucchini with Dill

When the zucchini in your garden is still slender and about 7-inches long – before they get big as baseball bats — the seeds will be small and the flesh will be sweet.

Zucchini at this stage hardly needs any adornment. I like to cut my zucchini into thin coins and toss them in a hot skillet with some oil until they start to turn golden brown. That’s it!

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Panna Cotta with Summer Berries

Panna Cotta with Summer Berries

There are certain desserts that are so easy to make and so stupendously rewarding that they should be at the very top of your list for special occasions.

Panna cotta is definitely one of them.

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Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri

Strawberry Daiquiri

I love a daiquiri, be it frozen or straight, strawberry or banana. It’s all good.

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Shrimp Quesadilla

Shrimp Quesadillas

Quesadillas have to be my favorite go-to food for lunch. They’re just so easy to make! Especially when you have tortillas and cheese in the fridge, which we almost always do.

One way to take a quesadilla from snack to a meal is to add some protein, like chicken, beef, or in this case shrimp.

First marinate raw shrimp in a little lime juice and chili pepper. Then sauté the shrimp and add it to your jack-cheese quesadilla along with red onion and cilantro. Serve with some sliced avocado, sour cream, maybe another squeeze of lime juice, and you’re set!

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Classic Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Classic Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

For years, iceberg lettuce got a real thrashing from chefs who thought of it as tasteless and nothing but texture. What’s wrong with great texture?

Cut up a head of iceberg for a classic wedge salad, add blue cheese dressing, smoky bacon, and a few cherry tomatoes, and even the worst kitchen snobs will change their minds!

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Blueberry Slump

Blueberry Slump

When it’s blueberry season, all thoughts (at least at my house) turn to pie or cobbler. Except when it’s so hot outside the asphalt is melting and the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven.

Enter the New England classic—Blueberry Slump! (or Blueberry Grunt if you’re from some parts)

A slump is made entirely on the stovetop, no need to heat the kitchen with your oven. Into a pot go blueberries, lemon, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar, which you heat until the berries are bubbling.

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Make-Ahead Feta and Spinach Breakfast Wraps

Make-Ahead Feta and Spinach Wraps

This post is brought to you in partnership with Frigo® Cheese.

These cheesy spinach and feta breakfast wraps make life easy, whether you are serving them at a big potluck brunch or just for your family during the week.

Frigo’s tangy Feta Cheese and spinach are such a classic and irresistible combo – doubly so when paired with the soft scrambled eggs in this recipe. The wraps are so quick to assemble, though you can also make them up to two days in advance and reheat in the oven or microwave. What’s not to love?!

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Greek Chicken Skewers with Flatbread and Yogurt Sauce (Chicken Souvlaki)

Greek Chicken Skewers with Flatbread and Yogurt Sauce (Chicken Souvlaki)

Enjoy a virtual visit to the Mediterranean with these Greek-inspired open faced “sandwiches” with grilled chicken. They’re perfect for a summer supper!

Souvlaki — small pieces of meat or vegetables grilled on skewers — are popular all over Greece and often served with warm flatbread. Top this with a tangy yogurt sauce and a riot of fresh vegetables and you’ve got a knockout dinner.

This is fast food at its finest: simple, delicious and healthy! Eat them by folding the flatbread in half around the chicken and chowing down.

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Lemon Blueberry Scones

Lemon Blueberry Scones

I’ve made so many variations of these scones over the years that I can’t even remember which ones were first! The basic dough is extremely adaptable, and I love coming up with different fruit, spice, and glaze combinations depending on the season.

For this early summer version, I just folded fresh blueberries right into the dough, then topped the scones with a puckery-sweet lemon glaze.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

There were two major influences on this recipe: the Nestle Toll House back-of-the-package recipe (which I think we can all agree is pretty much The Standard as far as chocolate chip cookies go) and a recipe from Christina Tosi’s cookbook Milk Bar Life.

It’s thanks to Christina’s recipe that I discovered the wonders of this one special ingredient that makes all the difference.

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Slow Cooker Dr Pepper Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

While I’ve certainly heard of making pulled pork by slowly cooking pork shoulder in sugary soda, it’s always seemed like a novelty and not something I particularly wanted to eat.

But on a recent jaunt to San Francisco, of all places, I had an unexpected opportunity to try it. You can guess what happened next!

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Ricotta and Summer Berry Parfaits

Ricotta Parfaits

This post is brought to you in partnership with Frigo® Cheese.

Ah, summer. Nothing says it better than a bowl of berries. Unless it’s a bowl of berries layered with Frigo’s sweet ricotta and topped with crunchy pistachios, that is!

These dessert parfaits are so pretty – they look fancier than they have a right to be, considering how easy they are to make. They are also not too sweet and make the perfect finish to a casual summer dinner party.

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Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

Flank steak is a lean, somewhat tough but flavorful cut of beef that benefits from the tenderizing effects of a marinade. It is best cooked medium rare and thinly sliced at an angle across the grain of the meat.

Prepared this way, marinated, cooked quickly at high heat, thinly sliced, flank steak practically melts in your mouth. This recipe calls for grilling the steak, but if you don’t have a grill, you can prepare the steak on a large cast iron frying pan as well.

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Fresh Strawberry Pie

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Oh my, strawberry pie! Will someone please make this for me for my birthday?

Any June baby would be honored to feast on this pie on their special day. Personally, I’d take it above cake any day of the week, but especially on my birthday.

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Shrimp with Olives, Tomatoes, and Orzo

Shrimp with Olives, Tomatoes, Orzo

Shrimp lovers! Have you ever tried shrimp with black olives?

It’s one of those master flavor combos which I’m sure chefs have known about for years, but I discovered by accident the other day when I happened to have some cooked shrimp and canned olives in the fridge and I took a bite of each. Wow, so good!

Here’s the recipe that evolved from that serendipitous moment—a quick and easy dinner with shrimp cooked in a fresh tomato, garlic, caper, and olive sauce, tossed with orzo pasta and chopped arugula.

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Pressure Cooker Potato Salad

Pressure Cooker Potato Salad

Elise’s Dad makes an awesome potato salad. The salad is studded with lots of crunchy chopped vegetables, and the simple dressing (just mayo, mustard, and pepper) is perfect. As far as the ingredients go, there isn’t a whole lot to improve upon!

The classic stove-top method works just fine, of course, but I couldn’t wait to convert this classic recipe to be made in the pressure cooker!

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Mediterranean Chickpea Bowls with Tahini Sauce

Mediterranean Chickpea Buddha Bowls

While I love all the various flavors and spices found in Mediterranean food, one of the things I find that like most about this cuisine is the way textures, colors, and even temperatures are often combined a single dish.

I’ve made these vegan and gluten-free bowls in this same spirit. They showcase some of my favorite Mediterranean ingredients all in one bowl, like spiced chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes, and tahini, as well as an awesome mix of hot and cold, crisp and creamy!

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Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages and Summer Vegetables

Cheesy Polenta with Grilled Sausages

This post is brought to you in partnership with Frigo® Cheese.

You could say that polenta is just a glorified corn meal porridge perfected by the Italians, but oh, what a porridge it is! Add some butter and good Italian cheese, and you are in a whole different universe.

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Make-ahead Frittata Squares with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Feta

Frittata Squares with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Feta

Think of frittata as an Italian cousin to the French omelet, with a few notable differences.

Instead of folding the omelet around the filling as the French do, Italian frittatas mix the eggs and filling together from the start and then bake them together in one dish. It’s a little like an open-faced omelet that can feed the whole family!

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Sous Vide French Dip Sandwiches

This recipe is brought to you in partnership with ChefSteps.

It seems like a magic trick: take a cheap, tough cut of beef, like a top round roast or a chuck roast, cook it for twenty-four hours without peeking, and Abracadabra! Now it’s suddenly filet mignon.

But it’s not magic — this is sous vide cooking!

For the past few months, I’ve been playing around with Joule, an immersion circulator from ChefSteps used for sous vide cooking, and I have slowly found myself won over by this new way of cooking. Have you ever heard of sous vide cooking? Or tried it yourself?

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Mixed Berry Sangria

Mixed Berry Sangria

Sangria is one of those things that you hardly need a recipe for – or even a particularly good red wine!

I do have a few slight twists I like use for my own sangria recipe. I like to add berries, like blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries. While apples and oranges are more traditional, I find berries infuse more flavor and color into the wine.

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Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles and Lemon-Garlic Butter

Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Lemon-Garlic Butter

A couple of years ago, I had a major bumper crop of zucchini. I found a million ways to eat it and cook with it, but this simple meal of shrimp with zucchini noodles and lemon-garlic butter was one I went back to again and again.

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SUSHI DAILY

Happily Handmade Sushi

David Lebovitz

Paris based chef baking and writing cookbooks

Indian Simmer

Let's share the love for Indian food!