When it’s too hot to cook, don’t. Assemble one (or all!) of these four stunning platters instead—they’re elegant enough for entertaining but breezy enough for a lazy weekend.
This flavorful dip is begging to star at the center of a luxurious Sunday night spread. Instead of hustling all day to get a meat-and-potatoes dinner on the table, let this simple dip be the star that unites delicious, disparate parts. You’ll drizzle the pillowy ricotta with a brown butter that’s spiked with fennel and peppercorns. The sauce is unbelievably luxe for such a quick affair. All that’s left is to set the souped-up ricotta on your favorite platter, then tuck an array of your favorite summer dippers all around, like prosciutto-wrapped melon, endive leaves, and charcuterie. There are no wrong answers for what pairs well. One shopping tip, though: It’s worth splurging on the nicest container of ricotta you can find—some store-bought brands can be overly watery.
Beets add a pretty pastel pink rim to pickled eggs, making them perfect for tucking into an elegant snacking platter. Nestle these alongside sausages, cheese, plums, radishes, and whatever snappy summer vegetables you like best. The pickling brine is traditional—it gets its color from the beet, a tinge of acid from the vinegar, and mellow herby undertones from bay and peppercorns. If you’ve never had a pickled egg, the combination is worth trying. The lightly pickled exterior of the egg is the ideal foil for a creamy, just-set yolk. Pick the best eggs you can buy, not just because it’s better for the welfare of the hens, but also because the eggs will have more flavor, and a prettier orange hue.
A good pickled red onion can elevate just about any meal from dull to delicious—and this simple recipe is more than good, it’s downright great. That’s because rather than just adding vinegar and salt to red onion, as some recipes are wont to do, this one takes it a step further, creating a lightly vinegared, garlic-infused brine with a hint of sugar. Once they’ve softened into the liquid—and turned a gorgeous fuchsia, we might add—the onions get a shower of fresh cilantro and a drizzle of olive oil, which mellows any acidic burn from the vinegar. Pile with abandon on a loaded everything bagel with lox and the works, or use them to finish a burrito bowl restaurant-style.
This vinaigrette recipe may look easy, but that quick prep time belies the complex flavors, which draw on the entire spectrum of the flavor palate. To name a few: sweet raisins, tangy vinegar, unctuous olive oil, briny capers, and herbaceous thyme are all stirred up into this delicious dressing. Let it be an inspiration to all vinaigrettes everywhere. It’s perfect for livening just about any meal up, whether it’s spooned over a toasted bagel slathered with cream cheese or the finishing touch on a gorgeous side of grilled salmon. A jar in your fridge at all times is the key to instant transformation—it can wake up the blandest of chicken or saddest of salads.
Just when you thought something as perfect as honey couldn’t be improved upon, this recipe comes along, adding fresh personality to the pantry staple. It’s pretty simple to make—just toast the seeds until fragrant, crack with a skillet, and simmer with the honey, and voila! Drizzle over avocado toast for a fresh taken on a standard, or even layer in a ripe tomato sandwich. There are no wrong answers. This is a great gift to bring to a party, so double or quadruple the recipe and store in pretty glass jars to gift all summer long. Shopping tip: use a mild honey like orange blossom, so it won’t compete with the strong spice flavors.
This dip is so delicious, you’ll be tempted to squirrel it away just for yourself. Here’s why: Crème fraîche mellows out the fire of prepared horseradish, so you get a bite without an afterkick. Then, honey rounds the flavors out, making for an all-purpose sauce that’s at home alongside peak-season tomatoes or underneath smoked salmon and a squeeze of lemon. Layer as you please with a seedy, nutty slice, a country-style bread, or the loaf of your choice. Extra credit for finding flowering chives—not only are their lavender-colored tops so pretty, they have a deeper, more herbaceous flavor.
The world is your oyster—or clam, scallop, mussel, crab, or shrimp. This tutorial makes buying and preparing shellfish at home a (sea) breeze. Whether you’ve been shucking oysters all your life or you’ve never touched a shell, this guide will come in handy as you serve seafood this summer.
This impressive dish is filled with clams, shrimp, and scallops, and seasoned with garlic and strips of lemon peel. Scoop and slurp up extra sauce with the curvy clamshells.