Cheesy Olive and Herb Flower Pot Monkey Bread
Thanks to dried herbs (such as oregano), chopped green olives, and cheese, this savory monkey bread tastes just like pizza. We love the spicy kick from red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of olive oil as it comes out of the oven makes it utterly addictive. Rolling each dough ball in garlic butter and then the cheesy, herby, olive-y mixture ensures that every bite—even at the bottom of the pot—is just as flavorful as the one beside it. To prevent the dough from over-proofing (and puffing up too much in the oven), take it out of the refrigerator while you prep the other ingredients, but no sooner—about 15 minutes before you begin to work with it.
Open-Face Tuna Niçoise Pitas
This meal is great for warm summer nights when the last thing you want is to stand over the stove. Because tuna is the star here, we recommend buying the highest quality can or jar your grocer carries. As far as the vessel, that’s up to you: serve atop a flatbread or round of naan, stuff the filling into a pita pocket, or go pita-less and serve on a bigger bed of greens, or even tossed with blanched green beans. We suggest doubling the recipe, which will make enough for dinner and a few tasty lunches. Serve with potato chips and briny cornichons—you won’t regret it.
Smash Burgers With Cumin Carrots
These burgers are packed with flavor, but require minimal fuss. Plus, the cumin-spiked carrots are seriously good—so good that we don’t even miss the fries. If you’ve never made a “smash” burger, the technique is simple: you’ll add the patty to screaming-hot oil, then immediately smash it to create a deliciously crispy crust. Because it’s so tasty, don’t hide the burger under fancy toppings. Instead, simply build it on a hamburger bun with a slice of cheese, mayo, lettuce, and ripe tomato. If you can’t find baby carrots with tops, cut medium carrots in half lengthwise and then cut each half into 3 equal pieces.
Squash Steaks With Miso Dressing
Summer squash is fairly mild on its own, but basted with miso, a fermented soybean paste, it takes on all sorts of rich, savory flavor. The miso mixture is a simple combination of white miso, mayonnaise, black pepper and water—and once you taste it, you’ll want to put it on everything. Make extra, then use it to dress up chicken and veggies throughout the week. Look for miso in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. Chickpea miso, which is slightly milder, would work well too. Don’t skimp on the mayo: it adds flavor, and also keeps the squash from sticking to the grill.
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Pops
We have a secret: you can melt ice cream or sorbet, refreeze it in pop molds and call it your own. We won’t tell. Do that with your favorite flavors then dip in this homemade magic shell. It’s a simple mixture of semisweet chocolate and coconut oil that’s liquid when warm, but solidifies to a crispy chocolate shell when cold. We like the salty chopped peanuts on top but you could use whatever nuts you like. Sesame seeds could be tasty, especially with a salted caramel ice cream base, or try strawberry ice cream and rainbow sprinkles for pretty in pink pops. (Psst: you can make the magic shell with white chocolate too).
Blackberry Wine Pops
We love a cold glass of white or rosé in the warmer months. But why should they have all the summer fun? We like to trot out a bottle of chilled red every once in a while to serve alongside our grilled steaks and chops. Occasionally (OK, rarely) we’re left with a glass or two in the fridge. That’s when we make these pops. Just four ingredients—wine, sugar, water, and berries—come together to make a not-too-sweet pop plenty sophisticated for entertaining but easy enough for lazy Sundays. Choose a light fruit-forward red like Pinot Noir or Gamay and the sweetest berries you can find.
Grapefruit Negroni Pops
The Negroni has experienced somewhat of a resurgence lately. And it’s no wonder: a refreshing combination of herbal gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, the Negroni is a perfect way to start an evening. We occasionally mix ours up with a splash of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, which both enhances and mellows the bitter Campari notes. Last summer we made slushies out of the same ingredients. This summer we’re freezing it solid and serving the pops as frozen apertifs. Slide a couple of very thin grapefruit slices into the molds and sandwich the pop sticks in between them for extra stability.
Honey, Yogurt and Apricot Pops
We wanted an ice pop with those same cool and refreshing flavors as an apricot jell-o mold we used to eat at family reunions. Greek yogurt gets sweetened with honey for a silky smooth base and apricot jam makes for pretty swirls. For the best effect, use a long cake tester or skewer to ribbon the two layers together. Be sure to let them freeze completely (overnight is best) to ensure easy unmolding. To unmold, dip the pop molds in cold water to soften very slightly and remove pops. Repeat if they don’t slide out easily.
Cucumbers are quite possibly the most refreshing thing you could eat on a hot summer day. They’re crisp, crunchy, and full of water, guaranteed to cool you off without weighing you down. We blended a couple of English cucumbers (one of our favorite types because you don’t have to peel or seed) with a bit of sugar and lemon juice to make a green juice-like base for these vibrant pops. Then we plunged a couple of kiwis into the molds to add a little texture and, well, because we think they’re pretty. Keep your eye on the Doppler and make these before the next heat wave blows through. You’ll thank us later.
Papaya-Raspberry- Lime Pops
We love the texture that whole pureed fruit takes on when frozen: cold and creamy, just like sorbet. And while lots of fruits will work, we like to pair tropical varieties with ripe summer berries. Whenever you cook or bake with fruit (or any ingredient, really) you should taste a piece before you start to season. In this case, you’ll want to test the papaya and raspberries for sweetness and tartness. If they’re sweeter, dial back the sugar and increase the lime juice. Less sweet? Vice versa. Then taste the mixture once you puree—that way you can be sure the pops freeze exactly to your liking.