I love trying new things. Hence why I have a recipe blog. But there are certain dishes I make continually that will never be replaced by even the best of the latest and greatest creations. Especially when it comes to seasonal classics. A simmered down tomato sauce is key to any successful summer, and as much as I like experimenting with other sauces (i.e., look for a roasted pepper one tomorrow), I wouldn’t let August go by without a taste of fresh marinara from my kitchen.
Below, I’ve compiled a few of my favorites of the season. (They’re all vegan, too!) From drinks to desserts, these are summertime standbys I make sure to enjoy every year around this time. In fact, a batch of roasted eggplant is currently waiting for me in my lunch. If only blueberry buckle were waiting in the oven, too…
Sweet Pea and Garlic Soup: A pleasantly sweet, summery soup, and possibly my favorite way to eat peas.
Asian Cabbage Slaw: A vibrant and refreshing take on cole slaw, infused with Asian flavor and topped with a salty crunch of peanuts. A picnic pleaser and mayo-free!
Garlic Roasted Potatoes with Dill: A classic side dish that’s best during the first weeks of harvest.
Roasted Eggplant: My favorite cooking method for eggplant.
Vegan Eggplant Stuffed Peppers: Stuff garden peppers with other items from your garden. Win-win. (Though certainly worth a trip to the market if you’re currently gardenless.)
Sauteed Mustard Greens with Creamy Mustard Sauce: This would not have made my list as a kid, but my new formed proclivity for all things bitter has me wanting to pair this alongside a grilled veggie dog and a cold beer. Mustard greens make a great topping because of their heavy bite. Tone them down with a honey mustard sauce and add to your favorite dog off the grill.
Roasted Veggie Sandwich: Put all the garden’s veggies to use at once. Roasting is by far my favorite method for extracting flavor in the summer, and this simple marinade makes this a regular item on my menu.
Vegetable Summer Rolls: This isn’t a classic, but a new addition I hope to continue to make over and over again. A light snack that’s heavy on flavor. These are incredibly refreshing during hot days where nothing sounds better than the crunch of a cucumber.
Slow-Cook Tomato Basil Marinara: Nothing beats home-cooked tomato sauce from garden fresh tomatoes. Especially in the winter when you can pull out a taste of summer from your freezer.
Vegan Pesto: Warning – This is addicting. From pasta to toast-topping, pesto brightens up the day.
Blueberry Buckle: With every bite packed with sweet blueberry goodness, you’d never guess this summer treat was vegan and whole wheat.
Mint Tea: My beverage of choice on sweltering days. A 2-ingredient recipe that’s irresistibly refreshing.