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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.

Cookie Dough Cones

When making chocolate chip cookies from scratch, it’s almost impossible not to lick the beaters. But, as you’ve been reminded time and time again, raw cookie dough isn’t safe to eat—until now. We took out the eggs and toasted the flour, which eliminates any possibility of bacteria. And to ensure the dough was perfectly creamy and fluffy, we whipped cream cheese into the butter and brown sugar. We like folding in chopped chocolate, but any of your favorite mix-ins will do. Try sprinkles for a cake batter dough, or cinnamon for a snickerdoodle approach. Then, eat it by the spoonful or serve it on an ice cream cone, which makes for a pretty adorable treat.

Grilled Chicken With Tomato-Cucumber Salad  

We love the pairing of sweet and smoky barbecued chicken against cool, crisp cucumber and tomato salad. Plus, there’s no need to hover over the grill as the chicken cooks. Our brilliant technique (cooking the meat over indirect heat) means you can walk away for 45 minutes, giving you time to whip up the salad or play outdoors with the kids. When you return, you’ll have a perfectly-cooked bird with gorgeous grill marks. We like finishing the dish with fresh summer herbs like mint, basil, or chives. If possible, buy local tomatoes. You’ll be rewarded with rich, complex flavor that barely needs dressing.

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.

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.