Summertime has officially taken off, and with it comes the season’s fresh selection of ingredients to add to your entertaining menu—think tart pomegranate, minty ice cream, light, bright salads. Whether you’re gearing up for a backyard barbecue or hosting a cocktail hour, there are endless options for delightful sweet treats and delicious summer fare that make use of the season’s best.
We’ve rounded up five of our favorite summer recipes, from make-ahead homemade ice cream (it’s easier than you think!) to a scrumptious berry pizza (always a winner) and a refreshing peach cocktail (simple and strong), that are sure to be crowd-pleasers no matter your summer fete.
Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream
We were instant converts after one big spoonful of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream’s delicious creations. Perfectly sweet, beautifully fragrant, and insanely addicting, her Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk and Backyard Mint ice creams are even more delightful homemade. No joke: It’s far less labor-intensive than you think, and you’ll want to make double.
Roasted Radish Tartines with Smashed Avocado
Photographer and foodie Leela Cyd’s scrumptious take on the ever-popular avocado toast is topped with spicy roasted radish and preserved lemon bits. It’s a tasty mingling of sweet, savory, and spicy all at once and a perfect light bite to serve for breakfast, lunch, or brunch—as Leela does.
Summer Berries Pizza
Topped with bright and juicy blueberries and blackberries and sweetened with mascarpone cheese and honey, this yummy dessert pizza is the creation (and summer favorite) of Eva Kosmas, the force behind the stunningly gorgeous food blog Adventures in Cooking. It’s every bit as fruity and flavorful as it is inventive.
Peach-Pomegranate Tea Cocktail
Combining chilled white tea, pomegranate juice, vodka, and in-season peaches (overripe ones are ideal), this sweet and refreshing cocktail is an easy drink to shake up for a summer afternoon with friends. Or make a big batch for your next alfresco luncheon or soiree. Serve it in Moroccan tea glasses just to be sure everyone takes it slow.
Beets, Burrata, and Pea Shoots Salad
This healthy summer salad of bright gold and red beets, escarole, pea shoots, and creamy burrata cheese is wonderfully light and crisp. Serve it on its own or work it into your dinner menu for a colorful first course.