Skip to main content
Summer LunchBox

Our Must-Have Summer Recipes!

By June 6, 2023July 21st, 2023No Comments

It’s the absolute best time of the year to cook, and we’ve got rounded up some of our favorite summer recipes to guide you through sunny days and warmer weather. Stay cool, enjoy the sun, and let the good times roll!

Strawberry Lemonade

1 c. granulated sugar
6 c. water, divided
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and halved
1 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Mint leaves (optional)

1) In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook until dissolved. Let cool.
2) In a blender, combine strawberries and 1 cup water. Blend until pureed. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain puree and discard any solids that remain.
3) In a large pitcher, combine simple syrup, strawberry puree, lemon juice, and remaining 4 cups water. Adjust with more water or lemon juice to taste.
4) Serve over ice with mint, if desired.

Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups 1-inch cubed sourdough bread
1 ½ pounds tomatoes , any ripe, sweet tomato works, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ English cucumber seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup slivered red onion
1 medium red or yellow bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly torn or thinly sliced

1) Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet with minced garlic. Bring to medium heat then add the cubed sourdough to the skillet and toss to coat. Cook the bread until golden, about 5 minutes, then transfer to a plate and set aside to cool. Make sure to not burn the garlic!
2) In a large bowl, add the tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and bell pepper with the cooled bread. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk well and pour over the tomato mixture. Add the basil and toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving. This salad is best served the day it’s made.

Chicken Quesadillas

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
4 tsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 c. chicken stock
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
6 oz. shredded cooked chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 cups) – feel free to use a rotisserie chicken, shredded
6 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 large flour tortillas
Salsa, sour cream, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and sliced avocado, for garnish

1) Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in stock. Add bell pepper, mushrooms, and chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
2) Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread half of vegetable mixture on a tortilla, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Top with a second tortilla. Cook, turning once, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining oil, tortillas, and vegetable mixture.
3) Slice into wedges and serve topped with desired garnishes.

Cauliflower Steaks

2 heads Cauliflower
2 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp Sea salt
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Garlic powder

1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) Cut the cauliflower heads into slices, about 3/4 inch thick, and place onto the baking sheet. (You’ll get 2-3 full slices from each head, but the ends will likely fall apart into florets, so you can just use those for another recipe, or roast them on the same sheet pan.)
3) In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, sea salt, ground black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Brush the olive oil mixture over the cauliflower steaks on both sides.
4) Oven method: Bake cauliflower steaks in the oven for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until tender and browned.

Summer Berry Trifle

1 pound cake (store-bought or homemade), sliced
2 (6-ounce) containers of blueberries (about 2 cups)
2 (6-ounce) containers of raspberries (about 2 cups)
1 ½ quarts strawberries
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Fresh mint sprigs (optional)

1) Hull and halve the strawberries. Reserve 1 cup of mixed berries to garnish the top of the trifle.
2) Cube the pound cake.
3) In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
4) Into another bowl, add the room temperature cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar; beat until smooth and creamy. Then, beat in the vanilla and 1/3 of the whipped cream. With a spatula, fold in the remaining whipped cream until combined. I like to add the pastry cream to a large ziplock bag with the corner snipped off. It makes it easy to add the cream to the trifle dish with smearing it on the sides.
5) Assemble the trifle: Begin and end with a pastry cream layer as follows: Add 1/3 of the pastry cream to the bottom of the trifle dish. Top with 1/2 of the cubbed pound cake and 1/2 of the berries. Then add a second layer of pastry cream, followed by remaining cubed pound cake and remaining berries. Add a final pastry cream layer to the top.
6) If serving immediately, top with reserved berries and add sprigs of fresh mint. If serving later, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Just before serving, decorate the top with berries and sprigs of mint.