These Are the Summer Recipes Our Food Editors Have Been Waiting All Year to Make
Peak produce inspires their picks.
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If you think summer is all about fresh, local tomatoes and sweet corn, you're not alone. Our food editors feel just the same as you do. They're also passionate about peaches, plums, melons, and okra. They wait patiently—or sometimes impatiently—for the first local stone fruit and the arrival of Jersey tomatoes so they can make the recipes they look forward to all year.
Senior editor Lauryn Tyrell really does wait all year for local tomatoes. "The difference between a peak season tomato and all the others is huge," she says. "Once they're in peak season, I pretty much eat them exclusively." Lauryn's daily summer tomato diet is: "Raw, with lots of salt, over a piece of bread with butter, mayonnaise, or creamy cheese tucked beneath." But if you ask her to describe the epitome of summer, it's these Bacon-Lobster-Tomato Sandwiches—with or without the lobster! The other summer food that Lauryn looks forward is melon. She makes this refreshing Melon and Cucumber Salad. "It's definitely a consolation for entering into the later days of summer," she says.
Riley Wofford, our assistant food editor, agrees local tomatoes are everything and suggests everyone tries her favorite Tomato Salad with Chile Yogurt, which also happens to be a favorite of Sarah Carey, our editorial director of food. Sarah adores this salad for "the combination of tangy cool yogurt with sweet acidic tomatoes and a hit of heat from both ginger and chiles."
Let's be clear: The food team is happy to eat summer fruit and vegetables raw and in salads, but they don't shy away from taking peak produce to the next level, like in deputy food editor Greg Lofts' Corn, Tomato, and Zucchini Galette. Greg considers it the best way to celebrate peak tomato, corn, and zucchini. Riley says the savory tart is a must-make recipe, too. (In fact, she's already made it twice this summer.)
Shira Bocar, food editor at large, gives a shout out to okra. Try it fried in this salad with corn off the cob, fresh cranberry beans, and lamb's quarter or baby spinach. Shira says the okra, pan-fried in cornmeal and flour, become almost crouton-like. She's also a big fan of grilling okra for a crisp exterior and nice amount of char. Her pro tip is to skewer the okra, drizzle them with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and then add a squeeze of lemon before serving.
When it comes to dessert, everyone knows Sarah is the number one peach fan, and she is famed for her ability to turn any summer fruit into a crumble or a cobbler. This year she's all about these Cardamom-Scented Peach and Apricot Cobblers. If you don't have the individual dishes the recipe calls for, Sarah says use one 2 ½ quart baking dish or cast iron skillet. Riley's peach pick is the pavlova which she says "is the best kind of sugar high."