September 24, 2021

The 20 best summer vegetable recipes


Local shops and supermarket shelves are stacked with prime summer produce. Piles of fragrant, sun-ripened tomatoes, crisp sweetcorn, freshly picked French beans. It’s the perfect time for Nigel Slater’s burrata with peas and basil, Richard Olney’s bagna cauda, or Yasmin Khan’s moussaka. From eastern China to northern Spain, Australia to the US, we have scoured the world for vegetable recipes. We devoured the best books. Whether you make Simon Hopkinson’s classic lettuce, cress and egg salad or bake Claire Ptak’s definitive carrot cake, savour this collection. Literal summer on a plate.

The simplest of lunch or supper dishes, ready in a few minutes
Burrata and peas. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The ObserverA versatile Sicilian stew with many variations – and a handy way to use up leftover veg
Caponata. Photograph: Kate WhitakerIn the 1970s, soufflés were everywhere – now they are a rare beast. Time to celebrate them again
Sweetcorn, rosemary and smoked cheddar soufflé. Photograph: Andrew MontgomeryA celebration of two summer stars, given a north African twist
Courgette, sweetcorn and chermoula. Photograph: Kate WhitakerGather the ingredients, season, blitz and serve – couldn’t be simpler
Chilled summer garden soup with nasturtium pesto. Photograph: Anna HedworthA great party canapé, if a little messy, so best eaten outside
Bagna cauda – raw vegetables with hot anchovy dip. Photograph: Kate WhitakerAn elegant Aussie twist on the humble chip, baked to perfection
Oven chips with oregano and feta. Photograph: Jonathan LovekinA Danish seasonal classic with the salad staple as star – just like grandmother used to make
Roast chicken with sweet-and-sour cucumber salad. Photograph: Kate WhitakerFlavoursome home cooking, Chinese style – serve with or without meat
Hangzhou aubergines. Photograph: Chris TerryA refreshing, crisp salad
Noodle salad with sprouted beans and peanuts by Nigel Slater Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The ObserverAn Italian treat for a perfect seasonal lunch or dinner
Rotolo di spinaci. Photograph: Matthew DonaldsonA zingy way to cook and eat the humble bean – just don’t shrivel the skin too much
Dry-fried French beans with minced pork. Photograph: Kate WhitakerDressed green leaves and sunny egg yolks conjure up the lightest summer dish
Lettuce salad with eggs, mustard cress and a creamed dressing. Photograph: Kate WhitakerComplementary ingredients swaddled in flaky pastry make for a heavenly seasonal tart
Beetroot and feta galette with za’atar and honey. Photograph: Jenny ZarinsA classic dish (minus the meat) that brings back memories of a holiday in Cyprus
Vegetable moussaka. Photograph: Matt RussellA Greek-style seasonal salad – just like yiayia used to make
Broad bean, dill and tomato salad. Photograph: Kate WhitakerServed whole, this fish dish makes an elegant centrepiece at dinner
Baked sea bass, courgette and spinach stuffing. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The ObserverThis works well for a picnic lunch or as a side with a main meal
Sweet or tangy potato salad. Photograph: Kate WhitakerAn old Spanish recipe takes the humble sandwich and makes it something really special
Swiss chard sandwich. Photograph: Kate WhitakerA supercharged recipe for this sweet, ever-popular classic
Carrot cake. Photograph: Kristin PerersThe Guardian aims to publish recipes for sustainable fish. For ratings in your region, check: UK; Australia; US