7 Solstice-Themed Recipes to Enjoy on the Longest Day of the Year

“Do you ever wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it?” Daisy Buchanan asks in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. “I always wait for the longest day of the year and then miss it!” Not only will you hopefully not miss the longest day of the year, but you’ll have a few fabulous recipes so you can celebrate in foodie style. We’ve found seven recipes that incorporate golden shades and sun-themed dishes that are on point for the solstice on June 21 but should also be enjoyed year-round.

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1. Cornbread

As a breakfast, dinner side, or late-night snack, cornbread will not be out of place during your solstice celebration. With an appropriately yellow hue, the Neelys’ honey cornbread recipe from the Food Network will give you 12 sweet, sun-colored muffins — try to let them last longer than the solstice does.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ stick butter, melted
  • ¼ cup honey

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 12-cup muffin tin. Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter, and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.

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2. Tequila sunrise

With orange juice as a prominent ingredient, you could get away with kicking off the longest day of the year with Liquor’s tequila sunrise – but you could always wait until later in the evening, as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ ounces tequila, chilled
  • 4 ounces fresh orange juice
  • 1 dash Grenadine

Directions: Add the tequila and then the orange juice to a chilled highball glass. Float the grenadine on top and garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

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3. Heirloom tomato caprese salad

Yellow-shaded foods or recipes with “sun” in the title aren’t your only options. Sunrises and sunsets can take on a range of colors, including reds and oranges. For a salad that evokes these deeper shades, try the caprese salad from Whole Foods, which uses colorful heirloom tomatoes. This recipe serves five.

Ingredients:

  • 5 large heirloom tomatoes
  • ½ pound fresh mozzarella balls (about 2)
  • ½ bunch fresh basil
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Slice tomatoes into rounds. Drain fresh mozzarella, slice into rounds, and set aside. Wash and dry basil. Alternating layers, arrange tomatoes, whole basil leaves, and fresh mozzarella on a plate. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice and wine. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over tomatoes and mozzarella, and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

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4. Strawberry-jalapeño salsa 

Another way to accomplish a dish with the classic colors of a multi-hued sky is to make this strawberry-jalapeño salsa from Kraft. Ready in just about 10 minutes, this salsa is the side or snack you need to have when you want a sweet and spicy solstice celebration.

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup Italian dressing
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped, divided
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, finely chopped
  • 1 navel orange, sectioned, chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onions

Directions: Blend dressing, ¼ cup cilantro, and half the peppers in blender until smooth. Chop remaining cilantro; place in medium bowl. Add fruit, onions, remaining peppers, and dressing mixture; mix lightly.

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5. Pasta with spicy sun-dried tomato cream sauce

Give dinner a spicy, sun-themed kick by making this sun-dried tomato cream sauce from Bon Appétit, via Epicurious, to top your pasta dish. The sauce is so simple that you’ll be making batches all year long when you want a better bowl of pasta. The recipe makes enough to serve four.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped, drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 (7.25-ounce jar) roasted red pepper, drained, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes, cream, red peppers, and crushed red pepper; simmer over medium heat 2 minutes. Stir in ½ cup basil and simmer 1 minute longer.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving ¾ cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Add sauce, cheese, and ½ cup basil, and toss to coat. Add enough reserved cooking liquid to pasta to moisten if dry. Season with salt and pepper.

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6. Sun tea

Sun tea is made by letting rays of sunlight hit your container of brewing tea for several hours, and what better day to do this than on the day when there are more hours of daylight than any other day of the year? Use this recipe from Food.com, which is a sweetened version of the beverage. You can adjust the sugar to your taste, and if you want to keep your tea traditional, use orange pekoe teabags.

Ingredients:

  • 10 tea bags
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 gallon glass container
  • Ice cube, cubes from 2 trays

Directions: Remove the paper tabs from tea bags. Tie all the tea bag strings together and throw into glass container. Add 1 cup sugar to glass container. Fill container with water within 2 inches of top. Shake container to dissolve the sugar. Place covered in a warm, sunny spot. Let sit for up to five hours, or until tea reaches desired strength. Add ice cubes and pour into tall glasses garnished with slice of lemon, if desired.

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7. Lemon cookies

Bring bright, sunshiny lemon to your dessert table with AllRecipe.com‘s lemon cookies. Since the recipe uses a lemon cake mix, your prep time is significantly reduced — perfect in case you remember at the last minute that it is the summer solstice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package lemon cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • ⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, and lemon extract until well blended. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into a bowl of confectioners’ sugar. Roll them around until they’re lightly covered. Once sugared, put them on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 6-9 minutes in the preheated oven. The bottoms will be light brown, and the insides chewy.

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