4th of July recipes from our archives
4th of July Recipes: Appetizers
Watermelon, Feta & Tomato Kabobs
These fruit kabobs are easy to make, light in calories and make a great contribution when you are bringing a potluck dish to someone else's house. They can be made an day in advance and then dressed with balsamic reduction, flakey Maldon salt and fresh ground pepper before serving.
Basil and Prosciutto-Wrapped Peaches
These are one of my favorite light summer appetizers. The peaches are tossed in a some Spanish sherry vinegar with a speck of sugar and ground cumin, then wrapped in prosciutto and basil. The flavors are amazing and its OK to eat more than one or two or three!
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Roasted Tomato, Pesto and Burrata Bruschetta
Stacy, a friend of mine, swears by this quick and easy appetizer. The best part is it all comes together in about 20 minutes. You can use store-bought pesto or try my Basil Spinach Pesto. If you have a nice blue plate you are 4th of July ready.
Italian Pressed Brick Sandwiches
These little sandwich bites pack a powerful flavor bite. They are basically an antipasto platter pressed together between hollowed out slices of ciabatta bread. They are made the night before and will hold up in the fridge for several days. I like them for boating, picnics, train travel or anytime you need something that travels well. They are also nice for cocktail parties spread elegantly out on a tray.
Peach, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Crostini
These tasty appetizers are must-makes sometime before peach season is over. A mash of goat cheese, fresh rosemary and honey are spread on toasted slices of bread and topped with caramelized onions and a fresh peach slice. This flavor combo is a match made in heaven. Caramelize the onions a few days ahead and then all you have to do is assemble before you serve. I notice I only call for 30 minutes to caramelize the onions in this recipe, but if you want to do a good job it will take 45 minutes to an hour. There is no rushing perfection! Check out my step-by-step recipe on how to caramelize onions.
4th of July Recipes: Main Course
My friend Art introduced me to these delectable kabobs. This winning dish from upstate New York can be made with pork, chicken or lamb. Serve your Spiedies on a grilled Italian bun with a cold beer and check out my recipe for the interesting history behind this dish.
This is my favorite cheater recipe for when I need to serve a crowd and don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Yes, I confess, the marinade comes out of a bottle. But it is ever soooo good.
Peach, Prosciutto and Chicken Kabobs
If there is one recipe I hope to talk you into this summer, it is these amazing kabobs. You can only get peaches for a few summer months, so make haste while peaches are in season!
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos
These fusion tacos are slow-cooked in red wine, chili, tamarind and lime juice. The meat is shredded and served with mango, avocado, burrata cheese and salsa. The result is an unusual, but absolutely delectable combination of flavors and textures. The nice thing about this recipe is it is made in advance and most of the work is done by your slow cooker. No last minute sweating over a hot grill while your guests make their own drinks.
BLTA Lobster Rolls
Who doesn't love a great lobster roll? Add some bacon, lettuce and tomato on a nice brioche bun and oh my! Make these for your next gathering or just for you and your special someone.
Slow-Cooked Carnitas with Minted Tomatillo Salsa
It's hard to make great carnitas at home, but this recipe cracks the code and does so without lard or coca cola or other weird and unhealthy ingredients that often go hand-in-hand with carnitas recipes. Spoiler alert, these carnitas are actually made with a healthy cooking technique. The prep is simple and straightforward and only takes about 30 minutes. The carnitas slow-roast in the oven for 3 1/2 hours to make them tender and juicy and are finished under the broiler to achieve crispy edges. Serve with tortillas, a delicious minted tomatillo salsa, feta cheese, lime and fresh cilantro. All that is needed is a great margarita!
4th of July Recipes: GazpachoFrom my perspective, gazpacho should be made every week during the summer. It's a healthy and refreshing meal that is perfect for lunch, dinner, snacks, appetizers or can even be eaten for breakfast. Trust me, I had melon gazpacho for breakfast just a couple days ago and was glad I did. Below are our favorite gazpacho recipes. Or check out my post on My 7 Secrets for Amazing Gazpacho and you will soon be improvising your own gazpacho recipes. If you need more reasons to make gazpacho this summer:
- No oven or grill required.
- Great way to eat more fruits and veggies.
- Most gazpachos take about 15 minutes to prepare with a food processor.
- Lasts for days in the fridge.
This is one of my all time favorites that is somewhere between a gazpacho and a ceviche. It is quick to make and always garners boatloads of compliments.
This refreshing cold soup is the perfect antidote to a hot summer day. A mini-watermelon is the perfect size to make a batch.
Sugar Kiss Melon Gazpacho
This cold soup is made with sweet Sugar Kiss melon, cucumber, avocado, garlic, lemon and Spanish Sherry vinegar. The toppings are very important and include spiced pumpkin seeds, salty feta and sweet pomegranate seeds. The result is a luscious combination of sweet, creamy, salty and crispy. This, BTW, was the gazpacho I recently had for breakfast.
Peach and Tomato Gazpacho with Goat Cheese Croutons
This recipe is another yummy must-make while peaches are in season. Don't skip the croutons; they add crunch, creaminess and a little tart.
4th of July Recipes: Salads & VeggiesHere are a variety of salads including side salads and platter salads substantial enough to be a meal in themselves.
This recipe is one of the reasons I started Something New For Dinner. It is a wonderful pasta salad that is quick and easy to make. You can dress it up by adding grilled vegetables, chicken or shrimp or serve it as is. Make in advance and serve at room temperature.
Roasted Potato Salad with Herbs
What is 4th of July without potato salad? This recipe is fresh, herb-filled and contains no mayo!
Watermelon, Tomato & Strawberry Salad with Burrata
My family can't get enough of this salad in the summer. Make it with peaches, plums or mangos too.
Strawberry, Blueberry, Spinach & Quinoa Salad
A favorite of my daughter Margo, this salad delivers red, white and blue goodness and is perfect for the 4th of July. Can you tell this was an early recipe by the photo? Ugh!
Pascal Olhat, of the old Tradition's restaurant in Newport Beach taught me how to make these delicious beans, which goes to show that simple preparations are sometimes best. Serve at room temperature.
Grilled Mexican Corn
If you have spent any time in Mexico, you are familiar with the street corn known as elotes, and know how incredibly messy, but oh-so delicious this corn is. My recipe calls for a few untraditional ingredients that I think make this corn even more delicious. My husband JP says it is "the best corn I have ever eaten." Serve with extra napkins!
Perfect Asian Sesame Noodles
Quick to make and inexpensive, these noodles can be served hot, cold or at room temperature and always disappear quickly from a potluck table. Feel free to dress them up with extra veggies and protein or eat them simple like the bowl shown above.
Kale, Broccoli and Tomato Caesar Salad
Don't you love it when a recipe is both healthy and incredibly delicious? This salad fills both requirements. Don't skip the homemade croutons. They are easy and oh so yummy!
4th of July Recipes: Dessert
Cherry Panna Cotta
Panna cotta is easy to prepare and is made in advance. Just pull out of the fridge when you are ready to serve. One elderly gentleman I served this to told me "It was the best thing I have ever put in my mouth!"
Rice Krispie Treats by Denise
These all-American chocolate-topped treats are welcome at any barbecue or picnic. My friend Denise has been making them for years. Whenever she arrives at a party with a plate of these tasty nuggets I quickly stash a couple away for personal consumption later because I know they will be gone in a nanosecond. Now you know my darkest secret!
Sous Vide Salted Chocolate Pot de Creme with Bourbon and Espresso
These are nothing short of amazing. Sous vide is the perfect technique for making these silky smooth, thick and rich pot de creme. Make them several days ahead of time and just pull them out of the fridge when you are ready to serve.
Grilled Peach & Amaretti Parfaits in a Jar
These parfaits are easy, delicious, not too decadent and a way to take advantage of peaches in their prime season.
White Nectarine Crisp with Salted Honey Whip
When stone fruit is plentiful we make a lot of crisps. This summertime treat is made with white nectarines covered in an oatmeal and walnut topping and finished with a dollop of honeyed whip cream and a sprinkling of Maldon salt.
4th of July Recipes: CocktailsThere are so many great summer cocktails to drink on the 4th of July. Here are some of our favorites:
This Garden Mule is my favorite Moscow Mule recipe and has been featured in Food52 and Huffington Post. It is made with fresh muddled blueberries, cucumber and lime. Don't you love the gorgeous purple color?
Blood Orange Margarita
This margarita is as tasty as it is beautiful. If you can get your hands on some blood orange juice this is what you need to make.