The last licks of summer are kicking in. Before we know it, school starts and summertime barbecues and pool parties are over. But not yet! Here are some recipes with favorite summertime ingredients like home-grown tomatoes, juicy watermelon, local fresh corn, and BBQ’d fruit. Check out your farmer’s markets and taste those seasonal summer delights. It’s at its freshest and most delicious right now.

Classic Tomato Panzanella Salad

Serves 6 – 8

Light and refreshing, I make this salad as a side dish for dinner all summer long. With fresh artisan ciabatta bread and vine-ripe summer tomatoes all you need is a simple protein and dinner is farm fresh and extra delicious.

  • 2 ½ pounds mixed fresh tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (use vine-ripe or something home grown)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 3/4 pound ciabatta or rustic sourdough bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (about 6 cups bread cubes), leftover challah works well too
  • 10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves, roughly chopped

Place tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl and season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Toss to coat. Set aside at room temperature to drain, tossing occasionally, while you toast the bread. Drain for a minimum of 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F and adjust rack to center position. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crisp and firm but not browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Remove colander with tomatoes from bowl with tomato juice and place the tomatoes in a large bowl and set aside. To the tomato juice bowl, add shallots, garlic, mustard, and vinegar. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine toasted bread, tomatoes, and dressing in a large bowl. Add basil leaves. Toss everything to coat and season with salt and pepper. Let rest for 30 minutes before serving, tossing occasionally until dressing is completely absorbed by the bread. Then serve immediately.

Watermelon Tuna Ceviche

Photo by tablespoon.com

Ceviche and tuna tartare are amongst my favorite summer appetizers. I make this as a shabbos appetizer during the summer months and save the leftovers for shalosh seudos and weekday lunches. I make it a littler dressier by serving it in martini glasses with potato chips for dipping.

  • ½ pound sushi-grade tuna*
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup diced watermelon (about ¼ inch cubes)
  • 1 English cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 15 mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

With a sharp knife, cleanly dice the tuna into ¼ inch cubes. Place onion, watermelon, and cucumber into a bowl. In a small bowl, whisk garlic, mint, lime juice, orange juice, and a pinch of salt. Pour over tuna and vegetables and stir gently. Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Stir before seLet the mixture sit in the lime juice for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, in the fridge before serving.

Serve chilled with chips or just in a bowl.

* Fish cuts cleaner when semi-frozen. Tip: Freeze sushi-grade fish, and semi-defrost, then cut into cubes.

Chilled Corn and Coconut Soup

Photo by tastingtable.com

Serves 6

This soup is cool and refreshing. It makes the best summertime soup. I like to serve it with homemade croutons or toasted pine nuts for an extra crunchy addition. Use farm fresh corn or local corn if you can.

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and membrane removed, chopped (do this with gloves)
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels, reserving ¼ cup
  • 1 can (14 ounces) light coconut milk or regular coconut milk
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint, plus more for garnish
  • Garnish: optional, Tofutti sour cream, truffle oil, croutons or pine nuts

Bring jalapeno, corn kernels (excluding ¼ cup), coconut milk, and water to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until corn is tender, about 20 minutes. With a food processor, puree soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and chopped mint. Chill at least 3 hours. Before serving add lime juice. Garnish each with the additional corn kernels, a dollop of tofutti sour cream and a mint sprig or toasted pine nuts or croutons. Drizzle with truffle oil.

Olive Oil Poached Cod with Tomatoes and Zucchini

Serves 4

Poaching hearty fish in olive oil creates a creamy, soft and delicious rich dish. It’s a summertime recipe and extra special with seasonal summer tomatoes.

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 zucchini – quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tomatoes (3/4 pound), diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • Salt
  • Four (6-ounce) cod fillets, skin removed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the zucchini and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and remove from heat. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and sherry vinegar and season with salt. Mix gently and keep warm.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 cups of olive oil over moderate heat to about 180°F. Season cod with salt and gently place in hot oil. Poach until just white throughout, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the fish with a slotted spatula and drain briefly on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon the zucchini mixture into shallow bowls, set the fish on top and serve.

Grilled Pineapple with Toasted Coconut and Lotus Butter Drizzle

Photo by honestlyyum.com

Serves 6

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 limes, halved
  • 1 ripe pineapple, peeled and cut into large round circles
  • ⅓ cup Lotus butter
  • Zest of lime
  • Pareve or dairy ice cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 6 - 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside.

Preheat grill to medium-high and place the limes flesh side down on the grill. Cook for 5 minutes or until real nice char marks appear, set aside.

Halfway through the cooking process, squeeze some lime juice over the pineapple, this will keep the pineapple moist.

Take pineapple off the grill and immediately squeeze over a little more grilled lime juice.

Place Lotus butter in a microwave safe bowl. Melt in microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth and creamy.

Place grilled pineapple on a plate. Top with ice cream. Drizzle with melted lotus butter and top with a sprinkle of coconut.