Summer meals can often feel like one BBQ-based recipe after another. Sure cooking outside is glorious (and relatively easy) but you can still have a little fun actually being in your kitchen too. I’m feeling particularly inspired after soaking up all things cooking during my first trip to the Aspen Food & Wine Classic last week (such an epic experience – my full recap of all ah-mazingness coming soon!), and since my return to sea level I’ve been frantically banking fresh summer recipe ideas.

Here are five dishes that are currently topping my gotta-try list. In fact, I actually already tested one over the weekend – a winner (deets below) – and I’ll be giving the rest a run-through over the 4th of July weekend. Be sure to check out Snapchat (I’m apartment34) if you want to see my verdicts in real time!


Kale Pesto is a bit of a super sauce. You can add it to just about anything, but I love the look of this raw summer zucchini noodle salad topped with watermelon radishes, avocado, lemon and that soft boiled egg. Genius. Lunch is now on lock.


I have memories of stealing green beans straight from the vine as a kid – it’s one of my favorite parts of the summer season. This green been salad, topped with a light vinaigrette and accompanied with nice block of fresh feta.  This could be an appetizer, a lunch or a great side dish to enjoy on a warm summer evening.


Is there anything better than berry season? I think not. I kill a flat of berries a week, no problem. But rather than just gobble them straight from the carton, I want to try to fancy them up for a tasty dessert. I’ve never attempted to make a Pavlova. It seems pretty simple – bake some whipped egg whites and top with cream and berries. Even as a dessert novice, I think I could tackle this. I just can’t promise it’ll look as pretty as this one.


Ok, I know burgers are often on the typical BBQ menu, but I don’t think anyone will think these Salmon Burgers with Lemongrass & Ginger are boring. They include not only lemongrass and ginger but also roasted red chili paste, cilantro cream and quick pickled cucumber and red onion for an amazing mix of flavors and textures. Trying immediately.

apt34 spicy watermelon salad

This last dish a refreshing summer salad that I actually attempted over the weekend. It’s perfect for toasty warm summer evenings and bonus – it takes about 15 minutes to make – faster if you’re really good at chopping. The super easy recipe is below for you to give it a try.

Watermelon with Avocado, Cucumber & Jalapeño Salsa


1 Hass avocado, peeled & chopped
1 C finely diced hothouse cucumber
3T fresh lime juice
1T minced fresh jalapeño
1/4t ground cumin
1/4C extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
1/2C cilantro leaves
1/2C fresh dill sprigs
1 watermelon cut into slices


Gently combine all the salsa ingredients and let sit to marinate for a bit. Lay your sliced watermelon out on a platter. Spoon salsa over the watermelon and enjoy. This salad is super refreshing, with a nice spicy kick. A summer salad doesn’t really get any easier!

What are your go-to summer recipes? I’d love to a couple more to my list.

PS, It’s also Popsicle Week. Have you heard of this phenomenon? I feel like popsicles really had their moment last summer (we made these), but I’m ready to give them another go. You can check all the bloggers, (there’s over 100!) right here.

recipes via the delicious life / running with tweezersdaniel faro / tending the table / recipe adapted from food & wine mag, made by me!

What do you think?

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  1. Those salmon burgers are at the top of my to-try list.
    The zucchini noodle salad looks delicious as well. I must get a spiralizer. They haven’t caught on here.

    1. I’ve been told the spiralizer attachment for the KitchenAid mixer is the best! It’s on my must-get list too.

  2. All of this looks delicious! I absolutely love your blog. It’s so aesthetically pleasing. I’d love it if you’d check out my blog at . Thanks!

  3. I always appreciate someone who is passionate about food. It takes a lot of time to explore, cook, tweek the recipe, photograph and create a website to share it with other like minded folks. Thank you so much for your dedication to healthy food