Potluck Dishes That Scream "Summer!"
Photo: Lucy Schaeffer
This unfussy stuffed-tomato recipe shows how easy it is to turn a handful of ingredients into a bright and tangy dish that beautifully highlights a seasonal favorite. You stuff beefsteak tomatoes with sautéed onions and garlic, ground beef, rice and dill. For the best results, follow the lead of cooks in Greek tavernas: They make the stuffed tomatoes in the morning and keep them in a slightly heated display case, so if you order one in the afternoon or evening, it's perfectly plump and juicy. For home cooks, that means you can prepare yours ahead of time, refrigerate and just warm them gently in the oven before serving.
Get the recipe: Stuffed Tomatoes
Photo: Matt Long
It's hard to come up with a more versatile summer potluck item than roast chicken, since it's delicious hot, at room temperature or even cold. Plus, it's one of those uncomplicated entrees that feels at once familiar and special—and this version hits both notes beautifully. A tandoori chicken, it gets its spice from a blend of cumin seeds, sweet and smoked paprikas, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, peppercorns, salt and red pepper flakes. You simply marinate drumsticks, thighs, breasts and wings in yogurt mixed with the aforementioned spices; and roast.
Get the recipe: Tandoori Chicken Recipe
Photo: Noah Fecks
We challenge you to find a simpler and tastier salad than this trio of tomato, corn and feta. Even better: you can make it a day ahead—when it gets a bit watery from the tomatoes, you can dip crusty bread in the juices. What makes the dish stand out from the usual tomato salad is the addition of roasted corn, which is a snap to make. You can do it on a gas stove by turning a burner to medium and placing shucked corn ears directly over the flame, turning so they char all around. Or, you can place the corn under the broiler (just watch it closely so it doesn't burn). The smoky taste is a fantastic match for tomatoes, feta, basil and lemon juice.
Get the recipe: Tomato, Roasted Corn and Feta Salad
Photo: The Jewels of New York
The combination of pasta plus vegetables plus dressing is a summertime staple. And, almost all versions of the potluck staple get better as they sit, taste great at room temperature and please vegetarians. Here's why this rendition is such a keeper: It has you use orecchiette, a pasta the size of a thumbprint that's shaped like a cupped hand and perfect for scooping up the other components of the dish—tomatoes, cannellini beans, chopped hazelnuts, torn mint leaves, lemon zest and garlic—so that each bite delivers maximum flavor and texture.
Get the recipe: Summer Pasta Salad
Photo: Alan Richardson
Beans easily complement everything from pulled pork to burgers to hot dogs. Instead of the predictable barbecued red kidney beans, though, this recipe calls for gigantes (they're large white beans similar to limas), in a flavorful, Mediterranean-inspired tomato sauce with celery and carrots. The slow cooker turns them tender but not mushy, and then right before serving, you stir in crumbled feta cheese, which adds a pleasant tang (though you can also serve it on the side for guests to add as they'd like).
Get the recipe: Giant Beans in Tomato Sauce
Photo: Donny Tsang
Walnuts and maple syrup are a traditional, sweet-and-nutty topping that can take any ice cream, from vanilla to cinnamon, to a new level. But this creative recipe introduces a brilliant ingredient to the mix: whiskey. It brings a warm, toasty honey-like flavor to the sauce that will make you want to spoon it over lots more than just ice cream (for starters: pound cake!).
Get the recipe: Whiskey Walnuts