6 Delicious Dishes Delivering One Last Bite of Summer

Summer’s warm weather weeks are quickly fading into chilly fall days. But before you bid farewell to the season entirely, why not make one more dish that embraces summer’s finest ingredients? By using summer produce that’s still available, light flavors, and fresh seasonings, you can easily create a dish that will taste as though you’re still in the the midst of the season. Here are 6 recipes that will ensure you can enjoy one more scintillating summer meal.

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1. Tomato-Basil and Spinach Risotto

This bright, light, and fresh-tasting dish includes basil, spinach, tomatoes, rice, and seasonings and can be used as a savory side or as a main dinner delight. This Iowa Girl Eats recipe yields 2 servings as a main meal or 4 as a side.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup arborio rice
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • Handful torn basil
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Bring chicken broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and keep hot. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat then add shallot; season with salt and pepper, and then sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic then sauté for 30 more seconds. Add rice then stir to coat in butter. Add wine then stir until nearly absorbed by rice.

Add ½ cup chicken broth then stir continuously until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring until nearly absorbed before adding more. When there’s ¼ of the broth remaining, add tomatoes then continue stirring. Add baby spinach and basil with the last broth addition then continue stirring. Stir in Parmesan cheese then add more salt and pepper to taste.

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2. End of Summer Ceviche

Is there anything more summery than a fresh-tasting seafood platter? You will love all of the tantalizing textures in this Boston.com recipe, including the firm shrimp and calamari, the crunchy cucumbers, and the silky flavor of the fresh fish.

Ingredients:

Fish

  • 16 each, clams, little neck or other, shucked, meat removed from shell
  • 4 ounces, fresh firm white fish (striped bass, mahi, or snapper)
  • 4 ounces, baby shrimp, raw or cooked
  • 4 ounces, calamari or octopus (cooked)
  • 8 each, oysters, shucked, meat removed from shell

Pico

  • 1 cup, cucumber, medium dice
  • 2 cups, heirloom tomato, medium diced
  • ¼ bunch, cilantro, washed, rough chopped
  • ¼ cup, spanish onion, small diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Juice

  • 3 cups clamato tomato juice
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon magi seasoning
  • ½ tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco
  • 2 tablespoons adobo
  • 2 each lime juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: In a bowl, mix the fish ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix the pico ingredients together, stirring. In a third bowl, combine your juice ingredients and stir. Mix ingredients all together one hour before serving. Serve in four glasses or 6-ounce cups with tortilla chips.

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3. Vegetable Brochettes With Pimentón Marinade

Daily Meal’s recipe via MSN gives you one last chance to light up the grill before it gets too chilly. These grilled skewers include potatoes, onion, peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms, which have been soaked in a fresh and flavorful marinade. The recipe yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

Marinade

  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon pimentón dulce
  • ½ teaspoon pimentón picante, or to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon aged sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil

Brochettes

  • 12 baby red or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, quartered
  • 1 large red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
  • 2 (8-inch) baby zucchini, sliced crosswise into 12 (1 inch-thick) slices
  • 12 small shishito, fushimi, or other small, mild green peppers, stemmed
  • 12 medium-sized cremini mushrooms
  • Sea salt, to taste

Directions: To make the marinade, place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well-blended. Set aside. For the brochettes, place the baby potatoes in a medium-sized pot and cover with water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until tender but not falling apart. Drain well and set aside to cool. Cut each onion quarter in half, crosswise, and separate each onion layer.

Cut each bell pepper quarter into 3 pieces crosswise; you should have twelve 1 ½-inch pieces. Place all of the vegetables in a large bowl and drizzle with ⅔ of the marinade, refrigerating the rest. Mix well, being careful not to break the vegetables, and let sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, stirring a couple of times to keep the vegetables well coated with the marinade.

Thread the vegetables onto each skewer in this order: a couple of slices of onion, 1 mushroom, 1 shishito pepper, 1 potato, 1 zucchini slice, and 1 red pepper slice. Repeat 2 times for each brochette. You will end up with 4 brochettes. Preheat a gas grill on medium-high heat or fire up a charcoal grill. Grill the brochettes on each side until the vegetables are well-charred. Serve with the remaining marinade and season with salt, to taste.

Source: iStock

4. Grilled Vegetable Salad With Goat Cheese

Grilling fresh veggies is the perfect way to celebrate the season’s end. Coastal Living’s recipe calls for zucchini, squash, onion, pepper, and goat cheese, and yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini, cut in half crosswise, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 yellow squash, cut in half crosswise, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into large pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Directions: Combine zucchini, squash, onion, and bell pepper in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and toss to coat. Grill, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 10 to 12 minutes, turning once, or until just tender. Whisk together vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; slowly whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add grilled vegetables and basil; toss to coat. Sprinkle with goat cheese just before serving.

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5. Grilled Salmon Avocado Pitas

Don’t put away your grill just yet! You’ll want to use it at least one more time to make Sunset’s recipe for grilled salmon avocado pitas, which include creamy avocado, grilled salmon, tomato, and zesty seasonings. The recipe makes 4 sandwich halves.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon wasabi paste
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ pound salmon or arctic char fillet
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pita rounds
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup loosely packed arugula
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced

Directions: In a small bowl, combine the wasabi paste, soy sauce, vinegar, and mayonnaise. Set aside. Brush salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay salmon on an oiled charcoal grill over a solid bed of hot coals or over high heat on a gas grill; close lid on gas grill. Grill 6 to 8 minutes depending on thickness, turning over once, until just barely done. Remove from grill and quickly toast pita rounds on grill, about 2 minutes, turning once. Cut or flake salmon into 1-inch cubes. Cut pita rounds in half and spread wasabi mayonnaise on insides. Fill each pita half with salmon, avocado, arugula, and tomatoes, dividing equally.

Source: Thinkstock

6. Light Chicken and Squash Lasagna

This is the time of year when many gardeners still have plenty of summer veggies to use. If you’re looking for a recipe that calls for some of your leftover produce, prepare Martha Stewart’s light chicken and squash lasagna. It creates a lighter version of the pasta dish by layering no boil-noodles with ground chicken, fresh zucchini, and yellow squash.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds yellow squash or zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound ground white-meat chicken
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅓ cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
  • 5 cups prepared pasta sauce
  • 8 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 ¼ cups grated Parmesan (3¼ ounces)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in middle and upper third. Divide squash between two rimmed baking sheets. Toss each with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, 20 minutes, stirring squash and rotating sheets halfway through. Let sheets cool on wire racks. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, 4 minutes.

Add cayenne, basil, and marjoram and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a medium bowl. Spread 1 cup sauce in an 8-inch square baking dish. Top with 2 noodles. Layer with half the chicken, then 1 cup sauce and ¼ cup Parmesan. Top with 2 more noodles, half the squash, 1 cup sauce, and ¼ cup Parmesan.

Repeat layering with remaining ingredients, reserving the last ¼ cup Parmesan. Cover lasagna loosely with foil and bake on top rack until sauce is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove lasagna from oven and heat broiler. Sprinkle with reserved Parmesan and broil until cheese is browned and bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before slicing.

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