Food & Recipes

3 Simple Summer Side Dish Recipes Made with Delicious In-Season Veggies

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We are in peak summer enjoying all the season has to offer from days at the beach to sunset strolls around the neighborhood, but our most favorite warm weather activity might just be dining al fresco. Of course, this means plenty of barbecues with burgers and hot dogs, but it’s also the perfect time to take advantage of the abundance of produce available right now. Summer can be decadent and healthy, too!

Indoor herb and vegetable gardens — as well as traditional gardening — are getting more popular than ever these days. People are seeing the benefits of getting instant access to fresh, pesticide-free produce in their home. Whether you pluck your veggies from your own garden or from your local farmer’s market or grocery store though, in-season summer specialties like corn, peppers, and tomatoes are always a delicious (and nutritious!) addition to any meal.

These “garden-to-table” recipes from Rise Gardens food writer and stylist, Kelsey Steeves, are especially mouthwatering. They are super simple to make and only requires a few extra ingredients. Take a look to see which one you’ll want to whip up tonight!

Grilled Snackable Peppers

Rise Gardens Grilled Snackable Peppers
Kelsey Steeves

Grilling is one of the tastiest ways to cook veggies. This recipe calls for snackable peppers, which are the mini version of regular bell peppers that you can easily get at the store (sometimes adorably spelled “snackabelle”) if you don’t have them in your own garden. Letting the peppers cook on the grill gives them a smoky flavor that balances out the saltiness of feta cheese, making it great to serve alongside grilled steak or chicken thighs.

Prep Time: 5 mins. Cook Time: 10 mins. Total Time: 15 mins. Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 10 snackable bell peppers
  • 3 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil (olive, avocado, or canola)
  • Sea salt, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Coat peppers in olive oil and place directly on the heated grill.
  3. Grill the peppers for 5 minutes on each side or until charred, flipping once.
  4. Remove peppers from the grill and place on a plate.
  5. Garnish with feta cheese, chili flakes, and a small pinch of flaky sea salt.

Grilled Street Corn

Rise Gardens Grilled Street Corn
Kelsey Steeves

It’s hard to imagine a summer meal without corn on the cob. This recipe takes it up a notch by adding chili powder, fresh cilantro, and cheese for a tasty twist! (Take a look at our simple and mess-free hack for shucking corn in the microwave.)

Prep Time: 10 mins. Cook Time: 20 mins. Total Time: 30 mins. Serves: 4

Main Ingredients:

  • 4 corn on the cob
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese or cotija cheese, crumbled
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp chili powder or ground chipotle
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Brush each corn on the cob with olive oil and place directly on the heated grill.
  3. Grill for about 3 minutes, undisturbed, or until kernels begin to turn golden brown and look charred.
  4. Turn over and repeat until all sides are browned, remove from the grill, and place onto a plate.
  5. Coat each ear of corn with the sour cream sauce. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese or cotija cheese, a little extra chipotle powder, and fresh cilantro.
  6. Serve with lime wedges for extra squeezing!

Easy Tomato Salad

Rise Gardens Easy Tomato Salad
Kelsey Steeves

When cherry tomatoes are at their peak ripeness, they have a sweet almost addictive taste. This pairs well with the acidity of a balsamic vinegar reduction for a salad bursting with flavor that you can make in minutes!

Prep Time: 10 mins. Cook Time: 0 mins. Total Time: 10 mins. Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (Steeves used a combination of Little Bing and Mini Kitchen)
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil, shredded
  • Balsamic reduction, for garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine tomatoes, garlic, and basil in a bowl.
  2. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.
  4. Enjoy!

These plant-based summer side dishes are sure to be crowd favorites at your next barbecue — they might even beat out the potato salad! You can watch Steeves make these recipes in the video below to see how quick each one is to prepare!

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