5 Dinner Recipes to Savor Late Summer Produce

Gardens keep banging out awesome summer produce, so make the most of its final act! Roast eggplant with chicken, stuff zucchini taco-style, griddle sweet corn quesadillas, and more!

This month welcome Sara Bir. Sara Bir is the author of two cookbooks, Tasting Ohio and the IACP award-winning The Fruit Forager’s Companion. She also moderates and replies to your comments here on Simply Recipes. Follow her @sausagetarian.

Depending on where you live, the growing season may still be going strong. All the tomatoes! The squash! The sweet corn! I love summer, I love fresh produce, and I detest winter. So, in these last few moments of summer’s harvest, I double down and pack in as many seasonal crops as I can.

All the farmers at my local farmers market still have tables stocked with eggplant, slightly tough but still lovely green beans, and bushels of tomatoes. I see them and feel like a pet lover at the animal shelter—I want to give all the vegetables a good home!

If you’re in the same boat – or you just want to keep summer rolling as long as possible – here’s a week of recipes to pack in every last peck of gifts from the garden (or the grocery store…whatever works).

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Goat cheese quesadilla

These are no ordinary quesadillas. From fresh goat cheese to basil leaves, these ingredients scream “farmers market!” There’s a cheat here, for those of you not privy to excellent local sweet corn: Frozen or even canned corn is acceptable. You char it in a skillet, then assemble the quesadillas and griddle away. They’re so packed with tastiness, you don’t need any sides. Casual dinner at its best!

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Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Eggplant Caponata

You can’t beat a sheet pan dinner. This one embraces eggplant to make caponata, a salty-sweet Sicilian relish with olives, tomatoes, and pine nuts. There’s no starch component for the sheet pan dinner, but the saucy caponata would be wonderful served over pasta, couscous, or quinoa.

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Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe

Zucchini boats become taco shells in this smart “eat your veggies” recipe. Grill the zucchini halves before stuffing them with classic Americanized ground beef taco meat and finish them off with a drizzle of sour cream. Serve with warm tortillas.

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Spaghetti with Bacon and Eggs

If you love tomatoes, than you already know life with fresh, in-season tomatoes is simply the best! Savor that sun-ripened flavor for as long as possible by doling out the last of those precious fruits in this super vibrant, brinner-y pasta.

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Salmon Foil Packets with Leeks and Bell Peppers

These packets are little make-ahead miracles. Soften peppers and leeks on the stove, then assemble the foil packs. You can do that step and refrigerate the packs for up to eight hours. I get tons of tapered, mild gypsy peppers from gardener friends; you can use them here instead of the bell peppers if you like.

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Sara Bir

Sara Bir a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and the author of two cookbooks: The Fruit Forager’s Companion and Tasting Ohio. Past gigs include leading chocolate factory tours, slinging street cart sausages, and writing pop music criticism. Sara skates with her local roller derby team as Carrion the Librarian.

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One Comment

No Image5 Dinner Recipes to Savor Late Summer Produce

  1. Juan zamarripa

    Excelente recipes I like it.