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Gorgeous Recipes That Make the Most of Summer Produce

Whether it's from a produce stand, a farmer's market or your own backyard, there's nothing more satisfying that ultra-fresh fruits and veggies in the summer. Here are some of the most beautiful, and delicious, ways to put that summer produce haul to work.

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Juicy Cherry Pie

Lucky you! Tart, or sour, cherry season is in the heart of summer. Choose fresh tart cherries that are bright in color, shiny and plump. They should feel relatively firm when pressed lightly. —Karen Berner, New Canaan, Connecticut
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Sweet & Sour Squash Salad

This salad goes over really well with all ages, and it's a good way to get kids to eat summer squash. —Opal Shipman Levelland, Texas
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Juicy Watermelon Salad

This fruit salad has such a surprising yet fabulous mix of flavors that friends often ask for the recipe. Combine seedless watermelon varieties in yellow, red and pink for a colorful twist. —Heidi Haight, Macomb, Michigan
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Turkey Medallions with Tomato Salad

This is a quick-to-cook meal using turkey medallions with a crisp coating. The turkey is enhanced by the bright flavor of a simple tomato salad. —Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware
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Blueberry Ice Cream

The wild blueberries on our property spark recipe ideas. When my daughter and I made this ice cream at a Girl Guide meeting, it was well received. Even today, our 10 children, 19 grandkids and 4 great-grandchildren think it tastes great. —Alma Mosher, Mohannes, New Brunswick
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Cucumber Canapes

I always get requests for the recipe for these canapes whenever I serve them. They're delicate finger sandwiches with a creamy herb spread and festive red and green garnishes. —Nadine Whittaker, South Plymouth, Massachusetts
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Rustic Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Here’s a delectable dessert that’s simple but feels upscale. With its fresh raspberries and Nutella-covered homemade pastry crust, you and your guests won’t be able to get enough. —Christina Seremetis, Rockland, Massachusetts
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Grilled Corn Hummus Tostadas

This recipe is a combo of Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines, giving it a unique taste. Avocado and hummus may sound like a weird mix, but they really go well together. —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Peach Cream Puffs

On a sizzling day, we crave something light, airy and cool. Nothing says summer like cream puffs stuffed with peaches and whipped cream. —Angela Benedict, Dunbar, West Virginia
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Sausage and Pepper Sheet-Pan Sandwiches

Sausage with peppers was always on the table when I was growing up. Here's how to do it the easy way: Just grab a sheet pan and the ingredients, then let the oven do the work. —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas
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Citrus Rainbow Carrots

Citrus Rainbow Carrots

I grow lots of carrots and I’m always experimenting with ways to serve them. The first time I made this citrusy recipe for my husband, he said it tasted like Christmas! Although he calls them my "Christmas Carrots," they're tasty anytime; I especially like serving them at Easter, with the array of carrots available in early spring. It's easy to prepare, and can easily be doubled to serve a large group. To save time, I sometimes dice the carrots several days in advance. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Onion Tart

Onion lovers are sure to be asking for second helpings of this appetizing tart - it uses two kinds of onions! Parmesan and feta cheese, nutmeg and hot pepper sauce enhance the flavor nicely. With its quiche-like filling, the dish is ideal for a brunch or buffet. -Christine Andreas, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
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Rhubarb-Cherry Chutney

I love surprising recipes like this chutney with rhubarb, apple and cherries. Try it with cream cheese and crackers or as a condiment for grilled chicken. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Mint-Cucumber Tomato Sandwiches

I jazzed up the quintessential teatime cucumber sandwich to suit my family's tastes. This was my absolute go-to sandwich last summer when I was pregnant. It hit all the right spots! —Namrata Telugu, Terre Haute, Indiana
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Curried Shrimp-Stacked Tomatoes

In Florida, we’re known for tomatoes and Gulf shrimp, so we use both in this tasty lunch. They stack up fast and keep the kitchen cool. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida
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Ruby Raspberry Slaw

Give ordinary coleslaw a "berry" tangy twist. It's sure to get raves at your next picnic or potluck. —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska
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Blueberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Pie

For a good friend moving to L.A., I made a blueberry goat cheese pie. Bake one, share it and start a precious memory. —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Spicy Corn Kabobs

Corn transforms from so-so kernels to tangy sensation when grilled, dotted with sour cream and cheese and zinged with a splash of lime. —Leah Lenz, Los Angeles, California
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Spicy Watermelon Salsa

I threw this together after an overzealous trip to the farmers market! My family loved it from the first bite. You can serve it right away but the best flavor is achieved after letting the salsa rest in the refrigerator for a few hours. —Andrea Heyart, Aubrey, Texas
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Zucchini-Crusted Pizza

Flavorful, nutritious and versatile, this pizza is easy to prep ahead and freeze—and fun to make with kids. It also quadruples nicely. What's not to like? —Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh, Willimantic, Connecticut
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Lavender Peach Gelato

This sophisticated herbal gelato can be served as an appetizer, a palate-pleaser between courses or a dessert that tastes like heaven on a spoon. —Christine Wendland, Browns Mills, New Jersey
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Broccoli & Chive Stuffed Mini Peppers

Broccoli & Chive Stuffed Mini Peppers

There's plenty of both crunch and cream in these party appetizers. Fresh chives help them really stand out. —Jean McKenzie, Vancouver, Washington
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Carrot-Parsnip Bisque

Warm and comforting, this delicious soup makes a pretty presentation. Easy to prepare, it's a treat to serve for family dinners and special enough for guests. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
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Onion Brie Appetizers

Onion Brie Appetizers

Guests will think you spent hours preparing these cute appetizers, but they're really easy to assemble, using purchased puff pastry. And the tasty combination of Brie, caramelized onions and caraway is terrific. -Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
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Cherry Pear Conserve

I use pears harvested from my own trees to make this conserve. I love it combined with cream cheese and spread between two waffles that are topped with pure maple syrup. —Ruth Bolduc, Conway, New Hampshire
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Chickpea Cucumber Salad

This recipe is a crowd pleaser! My new husband and I bring it to parties, barbecues and other gatherings. It's a light but flavorful side dish that brings a little bit of Greek flavor to any meal. —Kristi Smith, Greenwood, Indiana
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Heirloom Tomato Salad

This is a simple yet elegant dish that always pleases my guests. Not only is it tasty, but it is healthy, too. The more varied the colors of the tomatoes you choose, the prettier the salad will be. —Jess Apfe, Berkeley, California
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Citrus-Raspberry Coffee Cake

Orange and lemon beautifully complement the raspberry flavor in this dense cake. Add a dusting of confectioners’ sugar for a pretty finishing touch. —Pat Harlow, Cataldo, Idaho
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Blueberry Chops with Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes

A sweet and spicy combo is the perfect accent for meaty chops. With a fresh green veggie on the side, this is a hearty summer meal. It’s easy, yet impressive enough to serve to company. —Laura Davis, Chincoteague, Virginia
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Herbed Grilled Corn on the Cob

I'd never grilled corn until last summer when my sister-in-law served it for us. What a treat! So simple, yet delicious, grilled corn is now a must on my summer menu. —Angela Leinenbach, Mechanicsville, Virginia
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Frosty Watermelon Ice

Here's a fun twist on watermelon. It's so refreshing on a summer day, and you don't have to worry about seeds while you're enjoying it. —Kaaren Jurack, Manassas, Virginia
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Lemony Zucchini Ribbons

Fresh zucchini gets a shave and a drizzle of lemony goodness in this fab salad. Sprinkle the goat cheese or feta on top and dive in. —Ellie Martin Cliffe, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Chicken with Peach-Cucumber Salsa

To keep our kitchen cool, we grill chicken outdoors and serve it with a minty peach salsa that can easily be made ahead. —Janie Colle, Hutchinson, Kansas
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Smoky Jalapenos

When I make these bacon-wrapped appetizers, there are no leftovers. They can also be made with mild banana peppers or yellow chili peppers. —Melinda Strable, Ankeny, Iowa
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Grandma's Carrot Cake

My grandma was very special to me. She had a big country kitchen that was full of wonderful aromas any time we visited. This was one of her prized cake recipes, and it continues to be a favorite from generation to generation. —Denise Strasz, Detroit, Michigan
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Classic French Onion Soup

Enjoy my signature French onion soup the way my granddaughter Becky does: I make onion soup for her in a crock bowl, complete with garlic croutons and gobs of melted Swiss cheese on top. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah
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Double Cherry Pie

The combination of tart canned cherries and dried cherries make this so yummy. This is the best cherry pie I have ever raised on a fork to my lips! —Jerri Gradert, Lincoln, Nebraska
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Fresh Cucumber Salad

Crisp, garden-fresh cukes are always in season when we hold our family reunion, and they really shine in this simple salad. The recipe can easily be expanded to make large quantities, too. —Betsy Carlson, Rockford, Illinois
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Fried Green Tomato Stacks

This recipe is for lovers of red and green tomatoes. When I ran across this recipe, I just had to try it and it proved to be so tasty! —Barbara Mohr, Millington, Michigan
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Raspberry Pork Medallions

Pork served with a luscious raspberry glaze is fancy enough for company. We bring it to the table with wild rice pilaf and steamed veggies. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Canned Blueberry Jam

Summer doesn't feel complete without at least one berry-picking trip and a batch of homemade blueberry jam. Eat atop fresh scones or biscuits for maximum enjoyment! —Marisa McClellan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Farmer's Market Corn Salad

I love fresh corn on the cob, especially grilled, so I am always looking for innovative ways to serve it. This recipe takes the corn right off the cob and combines it with fresh basil. —Haras Cindie, Jupiter, Florida
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Watermelon-Strawberry Cooler

My family gulps this frosty cooler because we love, love, love watermelon. The strawberries give it an extra pop. This is a perfect drink for Texas heat. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Garden-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

These boats are not only healthy, they're basically a one-dish meal that covers all the bases—just grab your favorite garden goodies and add any spices or mix-ins you like. —Janie Zirbser, Mullica Hill, New Jersey
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Peach Bruschetta

As a starter or light snack, this bruschetta is a wonderful way to savor the season with just a bite of fresh peach amid a medley of lively flavors. —Nikiko Masumoto, Del Ray, California
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Red Pepper Soup

While I don't have scientific proof of it, Red Pepper Soup works for me as a head cold remedy! It is a good gift to take when visiting a sick friend, too. For a pretty touch, top the soup with grated cheese and parsley. We enjoy it with jalapeno cheese buns. You can also serve it with warm garlic bread. —Barb Nelson, Victoria, British Columbia
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Company Mashed Carrots

Although I call these "company carrots," I'll often serve them on a weeknight to my family. No matter who's eating it, the fast, easy dish is always a favorite. —Cynthia Hanus-Beard, Tamarac, Florida
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Braised & Creamy Vidalia Onions

In Georgia where sweet Vidalia onions are king, I make big batches of creamy onions as a side dish for grilled chicken and beef. — Elaine Opitz, Marietta, Georgia
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Sweet Onion & Cherry Pork Chops

When I want to jump-start supper, I opt for these tender pork chops. The sweet and savory cherry sauce makes the recipe a keeper. Try serving it with wild rice pilaf. —Stephanie Ray, Naples, Florida
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Grandma's Dill Pickles

This treasured dill pickle recipe is like an old friend. These crispy spears have a slightly salty, tart flavor with a good balance of dill, garlic and peppers. —Betty Sitzman, Wray, Colorado
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Star-Studded Blueberry Pie

Family and friends say this patriotic pie is better than a local favorite from one of our best neighborhood restaurants. Sometimes, I switch things up and use gooseberries for half of the blueberries. —Nancy Barker, Silverton, Oregon
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German Brat Seafood Boil

The grilled bratwurst and onion add a smoky flavor to corn, potatoes and fish for a hearty meal that's always a hit with my family. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Homemade Canned Spaghetti Sauce

DIY canning spaghetti sauce recipes are a tomato grower's dream come true! Use up your garden bounty and enjoy it later in the year. —Tonya Branham, Mt. Olive, Alabama
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Spicy Shrimp & Watermelon Kabobs

My three sons can polish off a watermelon in one sitting. Before they dig in, I set aside a few slices to make these zesty shrimp kabobs. —Jennifer Fisher, Austin, Texas
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Blueberry Zucchini Squares

I saw a bar recipe on a box of muffin mix using apple and lemon zest. I tried it from scratch with shredded zucchini and fresh blueberries instead. It’s a tasty combo. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Slow-Cooker Peach Crumble

I look forward to going on our beach vacation every year, but I don't always relish the time spent cooking for everybody. This slow-cooker dessert (or breakfast!) gives me more time to lie in the sun and enjoy the waves. Melty ice cream is a must. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Vegetable & Beef Stuffed Red Peppers

I love making this stuffed pepper recipe. It's one of the few ways I can get my husband to eat veggies. Make it meatless by replacing the beef with eggplant and adding more vegetables like mushrooms or squash. You can also replace the rice with barley, couscous or even orzo. —Jennifer Zimmerman, Avondale, Arizona
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Onion Beef au Jus

Garlic, onions, soy sauce and onion soup mix flavor the tender beef in these savory hot sandwiches served with a tasty, rich broth for dipping. The seasoned beef makes delicious cold sandwiches, too. —Marilyn Brown, West Union, Iowa
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Chocolate Carrot Cake

Finely shredding the carrots gives this cake an extra-nice texture. The walnuts sprinkled on top add crunch, but you can leave them off if you prefer. —Pamela Brown, Williamsburg, Michigan
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Contest-Winning Roasted Tomato Soup

Just before the first frost of the season, we gather up all of the tomatoes from my mom’s garden to create this flavor-packed soup. Although it sounds like a lot of garlic, when it’s roasted, the garlic becomes mellow and almost sweet. We serve this soup with toasted bread spread with pesto.—Kaitlyn Lerdahl, Madison, Wisconsin

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
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