How to Make Elote

Elote is a beloved Mexican street-food. There, you can easily stop by a vendor to pick up an ear of hot summery corn topped with tangy crema and popping with spice. It’s hard to resist. Our best advice? Jump on the bandwagon and make it yourself. 

corn elote with a burger
Summer at its best

Good elote starts with good corn. Traditionally the corn would be boiled or roasted, but if you have the option at home it’s also delicious on the grill. The added element of char pairs beautifully with the creamy topping.

When it’s time for the topping, check out your local Mexican grocery store to find crema. This cultured dairy product is similar to crème fraîche. In a pinch, you could also swap in sour cream, but some recipes also use mayonnaise. In addition to adding a luscious texture to the dish, crema also serves as the glue that holds on the other toppings and spices. 

While you’re at the store, scan the shelves for Cotija. Cotija is a hard cow’s milk cheese named after the city in Mexico from which it originates. The cheese itself is salty and mild. It usually comes in a block, and you can crumble it at home by grating it on the side of a box grater or tossing a hunk in the blender. If you can’t find Cotija, crumbled Parmesan (no need to splurge on the super-aged stuff) would be a decent substitute. 

Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, the sky is the limit. At Blue Apron, we love traditional corn elote so much that we couldn’t help but borrow the flavors and toss them over our other favorite vegetables. It turns out this tangy topping is delicious on a variety of dishes. Start with the original, and then go wild with the four recipes below. 

Creamy Guacamole Burgers with Elote-Style Corn on the Cob

Sometimes the side dish steals the show

Spicy Elote-Style Vegetable Tostadas

Unconventional, very tasty

Smoky Cheeseburgers with Elote-Style Sweet Potatoes

A perfect cookout dinner

Chicken & Poblano Tostadas with Roasted Zucchini

Zucchini gets a makeover

What to Make with Summer Tomatoes

If you’re a true tomato lover, you spend October through June just biding your time. When late summer hits, you thrive. There’s just nothing like summer tomatoes. 

Good tomatoes are a thing of beauty, but unfortunately they’re hard to come by. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one of these gloriously ripe vegetable-ish fruits, you’ll want to choose a recipe that will let it shine. Save the slow cooking for winter, and savor these beauties in their natural state. 

summer tomato toast
Simple tomato perfection

For purists, this means the tomato sandwich. It’s so simple that it doesn’t require a recipe. Just toast a piece of bread, slather on mayo, and layer on those thick tomato slices. After that, top with salt and eat. If the tomatoes are good, this will be delicious even with the most standard sandwich bread and mass-market mayonnaise. If you go all out with country bread, fancy mayo, and flaky salt; you’ll be rewarded with a truly transcendent snack.

If you’re not full after that, try these three hearty dinners that make the most of summer tomatoes. 

Chicken & Brown Butter Rice with Corn & Tomatoes

Go for it; combine tomato and rice in one bite

Tomato, Watermelon & Farro Salad with Seared Halloumi

These thick tomato wedges are paired with halloumi and watermelon for a salad that’s salty, sweet, and juicy

Greek-Style Chicken Thighs & Bruschetta with Za’atar-Honey Slaw

Try some of our other favorite za’atar recipes

Corn, Bacon, and Pasta: A Love Story

Chef Alex Saggiomo always cooks for a crowd, even when it’s just two people at the table. Here’s his recipe for a celebratory summer corn pasta that’s light and indulgent at the same time.

summery corn carbonara
Summery, light, and lovely

There are few things that make me as happy as cooking for someone, and when that someone is my fiancé, AND it’s his birthday…well, it’s time to pull out all the stops. Normally, when planning a grand feast to prepare for someone I love, I start dreaming of rich braises and lavish desserts, but a few years ago a simple request stopped me in my tracks; “do you think you can make something healthy?”

Healthy? For your birthday?! I guess we love our partners in spite of their flaws. The gauntlet had been thrown, and I was ready to accept. 

Instead of turning to classic “health foods,” I looked to dishes that I knew he loved, and tried to find ways to lighten them up. He’s an unyielding pasta fan, I knew that would be a good place to start. A stroll around the farmers market led me to a bounty of fresh corn, and inspiration hit: borrow the structure of pasta carbonara, but add richness with corn to keep it light. I gathered the rest of my goods and ran back to the kitchen, ready to get to work.

The pasta turned out exactly as I’d hoped: rich and pork-spiked like a carbonara, but bright and herbaceous like a new dish in its own right. A shower of fresh herbs and lemon zest helped it pop, and judging by the look on my fiancé’s face, it was a hit. Since then, this dish has become a birthday tradition, but as easy as it is, you’ll find yourself whipping it up in no time for a weeknight dinner. 

Summer Corn and Bacon Pasta Recipe

Serves: 4

  • 1 Lb spaghetti
  • 6-7 Ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 Tbsps butter, unsalted
  • 4 Oz pancetta or bacon, small diced
  • 2 Shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 Garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 Lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 Tbsps tarragon, minced, plus more for garnish
  • 3 Tbsps basil, plus more for garnish
  1. Place a kitchen towel on a cutting board; stand the corn on its flat side, and cut the corn kernels off the cob (the towel will keep all the kernels from flying about, and make them easier to transport). Transfer the corn kernels to a blender; puree until smooth. 
corn carbonara
Use a towel for easy kernel removal
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water, and drain the pasta.
  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and the fat has rendered (6 to 7 minutes). Add the shallots and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened. Add the cooked spaghetti, corn puree, half of the pasta cooking water, and the lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is coated and the sauce has thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of the tarragon, and 2 tablespoons of the basil (tear just before adding). Divide the pasta between 4 bowls and garnish with the remaining herbs. 

Hiyashi Chuka Is the Perfect Cold Ramen Dish for Summer

Think it’s too hot for ramen? Think again. There’s a whole world of Japanese noodle preparations, and one cold ramen dish is perfect for summer: hiyashi chuka.

Hiyashi chuka uses the same delicious ramen noodles as a traditional tonkatsu soup, but dresses them up for summer. In this chilled dish the noodles are cooked quickly in boiling water, then tossed in a simple sauce. There’s no hot broth, and no need to turn on the oven. From there the noodles can be a canvas to show off your most beautiful summer produce and favorite proteins. 

Hiyashi chuka dressings are typically made from a combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar. Some recipes incorporate blended spices or seeds for additional crunch and flavor. When it comes to the toppings, it’s time to get creative. Cooked proteins, marinated vegetables, and soft boiled eggs are all great choices. 

Check out the recipes below for inspiration: 

A summery chilled ramen with chicken, corn, and tomatoes 

cold ramen with chicken
This version is topped with sesame seeds and poppy seeds for extra crunch and flavor

Get the recipe.

Cold ramen topped with crunchy cucumbers, a soft boiled egg, and green beans 

Marinated cucumbers add crunch and zip to this dish

Get the recipe.

Bright and light noodles with tomatoes, corn, and arugula 

chilled ramen with arugula
This chilled ramen dish shows off the best of summer produce

Get the recipe.

How to Make a Pie for Any Size Party

Mixed berry pie
Plenty of pie to go around

Pies are a perfect party dessert. Unfortunately, the classic 9-inch pie tin isn’t one size fits all. For small households, there’s a serious risk leftover pie could languish in the fridge—a true tragedy. For large celebrations, one pie just isn’t going to cut it. From parties for one to full-sized crowds; here’s how to make a pie to suit any size gathering. 

How to make a pie for 1-2 people 

strawberry hand pies
Pie for one, please

For a small crowd, hand pies are the way to go. No special equipment is required, and they’re fun to shape. Think of a hand pie like a more sophisticated Pop-Tart, customizable with the filling of your choosing. 

The difference between a hand pie and a traditional pie comes down to shape. Hand pies use classic pie dough and filling, just formed into individually portioned pockets. They’re not difficult to make, but they do require a bit more handwork than a classic pie. To make this process as smooth as possible, it’s best to work quickly. The pie dough is made with butter, and handling it too much will warm it up excessively. If the dough gets too warm, the butter will melt, and the dough can become a sticky mess. By working quickly, you can keep the dough as cold as possible.

As will all stuffed foods, there’s a very fine line between too much and not enough filling. Aim for about a 1/2-inch border around the filling for a pie that’s full of fruit, but not boiling over.

unbaked strawberry hand pie
Ready to fold

Chef Lauren Katz created this strawberry balsamic hand pie recipe with small gatherings in mind. One batch makes two hand pies, the perfect amount of dessert to follow a dinner date. 

How to make a pie for 2-4 people

To make a pie for a slightly bigger group. Chef Lisa Appleton recommends starting with a classic recipe, and cutting it in half, like she did with these miniature key lime pies.

So cute, right?

Chef Lisa used four miniature pie tins to make her family-sized dessert. If you don’t have mini pie tins on hand, you could also use small ramekins, or cupcake tins. Whatever you choose to use, be sure to grease the sides of the pan very well to prevent the filling or crust from sticking.

All dressed up

These miniature Key lime pies with a coconut graham cracker crust serve four. If you want to adapt a different recipe to work in miniature, try halving the recipe and dividing into four equal portions. 

How to make a pie for 4-8 people

For 4-8 people, you’re looking at a classic 9-inch pie pan. Try out one of our favorite crust recipes for extra flaky crust, and go crazy with the fillings. Anything from chocolate pudding to rhubarb will work well in this format. 

9-inch pie
A little fruit overflow won’t ruin the party

No matter what type of pie you choose, there are a few tricks for extracting clean, beautiful slices from a pie tin. First, make sure that your bottom crust is completely baked. That way it will be able to support the weight of the slice. If you’re using a glass bottom pie tin, you can check out the bottom of your crust just by looking. It should be a beautiful golden brown. Second, make sure your pie has thoroughly cooled before slicing. Cooling gives cream and fruit pies time to set, making sure that the filling won’t run out of the pie and all over your plate. 

How to make a pie for 8-12 people

Plenty for everyone

For a crowd of 8-12 people, you’re going to need a lot of pie. Luckily, Chef Claire King is used to cooking for a crowd. For her crew of kids and extended family, she has perfected two different methods of large format pies. 

The first is a slab pie. This rectangular pie is assembled in a baking dish or on a sheet tray.  It can be fruit, pudding, or custard filled. All of the components can be made a day ahead, that way you can really focus on assembly when the time comes. The trick here is making sure you bake the crust thoroughly. It takes a very crispy crust to hold up all that topping. 

One trick for forming the crust? Instead of trying to roll out and transfer a huge rectangle of dough, form two smaller rectangles. Just overlap them and press to seal the bottom of the pie.

slab pie crust
Press down to seal the two halves

Chef Claire’s flag pie is filled with vanilla bourbon pudding, and decorated with strawberries and blueberries. 

The second method is making a deep dish pie. These slices pack a powerful punch. A deep dish pie is made in a springform pan instead of a pie tin. The resulting pie has super tall sides and tons of filling. 

deep dish pie
A true masterpiece

For this one, you’ll need to roll out an extra large disc of dough. If you’re nervous about transferring it, Chef Claire recommends rolling the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper. Once again, it’s essential to make sure the pie is cooked through. A pie this size can take up to an hour in the oven. 

For an extra treat, Chef Claire layered the bottom of her gigantic pie with frangipane, a sweet French almond paste. 

deep dish cherry pie
So many mixed berries

Try your hand at a deep dish cherry pie with this recipe.

Recipe: Strawberry Balsamic Hand Pies

Lauren Katz is a trained pastry chef. These strawberry hand pies honor her childhood tradition of strawberry picking every summer in Ohio. 

strawberry hand pies with cream
What could be better than grab and go pie?

These strawberry hand pies are cute, sophisticated, and easy to eat. They’re the perfect way to make use of beautiful summer produce. The simple filling shows off the flavor of the strawberries, and the balsamic vinegar adds a touch of complexity. 

Strawberry Balsamic Hand Pies 

Pie Dough

  • ¾ Cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 Tbsps cold, unsalted butter, small diced
  • Ice water

Pie Filling

  • 4 oz fresh strawberries, small diced
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2-3 tsp granulated sugar, depending on the sweetness of your berries
  • 2 tsp  balsamic vinegar
  • 4 grinds fresh black pepper, optional
  • A pinch of salt


  • AP flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Turbinado sugar, optional

1. Make the dough. Bowl method: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the diced butter. Using your fingers, gently work the butter into the dry ingredients until coarse crumbs form. Working 1 tablespoon at a time, add the ice water and mix until a shaggy dough forms (it should take anywhere between 1 and 3 tablespoons).

Food processor method: Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the diced butter. Pulse a few times, until coarse crumbs form. Working 1 tablespoon at a time, add the ice water and mix until a shaggy dough forms (it should take anywhere between 1 and 3 tablespoons). 

2. Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap form into a ball. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. *The dough can be made up to 3 days in advance. 

3. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl. Gently mix to combine.

4. Form the hand pies. Lightly flour a work surface. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a circle, about 7 inches in diameter (it does not need to be perfectly round, a rustic circle will work just fine). If using a cookie cutter, stamp in the middle of one side of each dough round. Transfer to the prepared sheet pan.

shaping strawberry hand pies
Ready to fold

5. Divide the filling between the rounds and arrange in the middle of the unstamped side, leaving 1/2-inch border. Lightly coat the circumference of each round with water, then fold the stamped (or empty) side on top of the filling. Using a fork or your fingers, press the top layer of dough into the bottom layer to completely seal. If not using a cookie cutter, use a sharp knife to make 2-3 slits in the top of the dough.

6. Evenly coat the top of the hand pies with the beaten egg, then the turbinado sugar, if using. 

7. Bake, rotating the sheet pan halfway through, for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Remove from the oven and let stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Top with a scoop of your favorite ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe: Miniature Key Lime Pies with Coconut-Graham Cracker Crust

miniature key lime pies
Go ahead, have a whole pie

A single serving Key lime pie is an adorable treat. These are perfect for a small gathering, or just to make and freeze for yourself. Making these is a lot like making a full-sized pie, you’re just doing everything in miniature. If you don’t have miniature pie tins, you can bake these pies in ramekins or muffin tins, just be sure to grease the sides of the pan well to prevent the filling from sticking. 

Miniature Key Lime Pie with Coconut-Graham Cracker Crust

Servings: 4

Equipment: 4, 4-inch pie tins


  • 4 graham cracker sheets, crushed (a heaping ½ cup crushed)
  • ⅛ Cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ Cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 Tbsps melted unsalted butter


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp Key lime zest, from about 2 Key limes 
  • ½ Cup sweetened condensed milk (about 7 oz)
  • ⅓ Cup Key lime juice (juice of about 6 or 7 Key limes)


  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Toasted flaked coconut (optional)

1. Prepare the crusts. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place graham cracker sheets in the bowl of a food processor or a ziploc bag. Pulse or crush until you have the consistency of sand. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, coconut, and salt. Stir to combine. Pour in the melted butter. Stir until evenly coated. It should look like wet sand at this point. 

2. Bake the crusts. Place the tins on a sheet pan. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the crust mixture to each tin. Using your fingers and/or the flat bottom edge of a measuring cup, shape the crust into an even layer on the bottom of the tin and up the sides. You may have extra crust. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown. The crust may slump down the sides of the tins while baking. Let cool slightly and, if necessary, use the measuring flat bottom of the measuring cup to carefully push the crust back up the sides of the tins. 

3. Make the filling. While the crusts bake, combine the egg yolks and the Key lime zest in a separate mixing bowl. Whisk until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. It should be almost the consistency of hollandaise sauce. Add the sweetened condensed milk and continue to whisk until slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the Key lime juice and whisk until just combined. 

4. Bake the filling. Pour the filling into the cooled crusts (you will have extra filling). The filling won’t rise, so you can pour to the top of the crust. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the filling is set on the edges. The center may still be a bit jiggly. 

5. Cool & chill the pies. Transfer the baked pies to a wire rack and let cool completely, then refrigerate until ready to serve. 

6. Serve your pies. If desired, top the finished pies with whipped cream and toasted coconut. Enjoy!

For more pie, check out Blue Apron’s guide to making pie for any size party.

One Easy Rhubarb Recipe, 3 Ways to Eat it

rhubarb recipe used in blondies
Blondies with flaky sea salt

This simple rhubarb recipe is just four ingredients: sugar, vanilla extract, rhubarb, and water. Honestly, water barely counts as an ingredient, so it’s closer to three. Thanks to rhubarb’s characteristically tart and punchy flavor, this simple slow-cooked compote has a surprising amount of complexity. Here, the natural tartness is tamed by the addition of sugar and gentle heat, leaving you with an ever so slightly zingy jam. 

Yogurt with compote and granola
Yogurt with compote and granola

Once you’ve made the compote, the possibilities are basically limitless. Of course, it’s delicious on its own, but why stop there? Spread it over peanut butter on a thick slice of toast, mix it into plain yogurt, swirl it into blondie batter, or spoon it over a scoop of ice cream for a wonderful spring dessert. 

Just remember to act fast, rhubarb season lasts from spring to early summer. 

rhubarb compote over ice cream
Rhubarb compote over ice cream

Slow-Cooked Rhubarb Compote Recipe 

Recipe from from Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers: A Cookbook

  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ Cup water 
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Pound rhubarb, cut into 1″ chunks
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and vanilla extract. Heat over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Stir occasionally. 
  2. Add the rhubarb and stir. Reduce the heat and cook over low until the rhubarb is soft and sticky. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reached your desired consistency. 
  3. Store in an airtight container. This compote will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

A Wine Spritzer for Every Summer Occasion

wine spritzer
Doesn’t that look refreshing?

Oh, to be lounging in the sun drinking cocktails. For long summer days, a wine spritzer is pretty much the perfect drink. It’s light and refreshing, and crucially, it’s low-alcohol. That makes it ideal for drawn out afternoon picnics or barbecues where the laid back atmosphere might call for more than one drink. At its core, a wine spritzer is just wine and seltzer, and even this simple version is delicious. Of course, there are countless more elaborate variations to try, including the trendy Italian aperitivo, the Aperol spritz. Our version incorporates summer berries for a light floral sweetness. The optional liquor brings in additional complexity and depth. 


  • 1 bottle of BA white wine (500ml)
  • 4 oz. strawberries, sliced
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 500 ml seltzer water 
  • 4 oz liquor, (optional)  Options include: sweet or dry vermouth, Campari, Aperol, Kirsch, Lillet, Maraschino Liqueur, or Triple Sec


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher.
  2. If desired, add your 4 oz liquor for additional herbal flavor and complexity. 
  3. When ready to serve, pour mixture over glasses of ice. Fill half-way and finish by topping with seltzer water.
wine spritzer wine pairing
Pairing made easy

Ready to try making a spritzer at home? Order a summer sampler of Blue Apron white wine.

Chill out with a Glass of Sangria

sangria recipe
Tall, dark, and fruity

Sangria is a cocktail made of guidelines, not rules. In Spain, every restaurant has their own house version, and no two recipes are alike. If you have any assortment of herbs and fruits on hand, you can make sangria. It’s so flexible that it can be made with either white or red wine. No matter what your taste preferences are, this is the perfect drink to help you slow things down a bit. If you’re not sure where to start, try out the red and white sangria recipes below. Pour a glass and honor the Spanish traditions of snacking on assorted salty foods, lingering around the table, and indulging in a little siesta. 

Mint-Berry Red Wine Sangria 

Serves 4 


  • 3 oz raspberries
  • 3 oz blackberries
  • 6-8 mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 bottle Blue Apron red wine (500ml)
  • Optional: 2 oz brown spirit of choice, such as brandy, whiskey, or rum
  • seltzer 


  1. In a jar or pitcher, combine the raspberries, blackberries, mint leaves (tearing before adding), sugar, and sliced lemon. Muddle for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the wine and stir to combine. Stir in the brown spirit of your choice (if using).
  3. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. 
  4. To serve, fill a glass with ice. Fill the glass ⅔ of the way up with the sangria. Top with the seltzer. If desired, garnish with a spoonful of the muddled fruit and mint from the pitcher. Enjoy!

Peach-Basil White Wine Sangria Recipe: 

Serves 4 


  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 6-8 basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced  
  • 1 bottle Blue Apron white wine (500 ml)
  • Optional: 2 oz spirit, such as vodka, tequila, or gin 
  • seltzer


  1. In a jar or pitcher, combine the sliced peach, basil leaves (tearing before adding), honey, and sliced lime. Muddle for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the wine and stir to combine. Stir in the spirit of your choice (if using) for a stronger, less sweet sangria. 
  3. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  4. To serve, fill a glass with ice. Fill the glass ⅔ of the way up with the sangria. Top with seltzer. If desired, garnish with a spoonful of muddled fruit and basil from the pitcher. Enjoy!
Wine choices made easy

Ready to try making a glass of your own? Order the sangria sampler pack from Blue Apron.

A Summery Snap Pea Salad from the Chef of Loring Place

Blue Apron is teaming up with chefs across the country to support Feeding America®. To participate, head over to our social media channels. Share our Facebook post or tag a friend on Instagram, and Blue Apron will donate an additional $5 to Feeding America, up to $50,000. Thanks to Dan Kluger, the chef and owner of Loring Place, for sharing this fresh summery salad from his upcoming cookbook Chasing Flavor.

Charred, blanched, and covered in cheese

While working for Jean-Georges at ABC Kitchen, chef Dan Kluger grew to love combining raw and cooked versions of the same ingredient in a dish. This method results in a beautiful contrast of textures and flavors. Here, this idea is applied to snap peas—half are quickly blanched, and the rest are charred in a skillet. Both halves are tossed in a cheesy vinaigrette that evokes a more sophisticated version of the peppery bottled salad dressings you may have loved growing up. 

Chef Kluger’s dressing is made creamy by pureeing Manchego cheese in a blender until it completely breaks down and emulsifies. This will take longer than you think, so keep blending until the dressing is completely smooth. 

Charred Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Manchego Vinaigrette 

Makes four servings 

For the Manchego vinaigrette 

Makes about one cup

  • 3 Tbsps buttermilk, well shaken 
  • ¼ cup plus 1 ½ tsps Champagne vinegar 
  • 1 ½ Tbsps fresh lemon juice 
  • ¼ cup plus 1 ½ tsps extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 3 ounces Manchego cheese, coarsely grated (about ¾ cup) 
  • 1 ½ tsps kosher salt 
  • ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper 

1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until very smooth, scraping the side of the blender as needed. The dressing can be made up to one day ahead and refrigerated until ready to use. 

For the snap peas

  • 4 cups sugar snap peas (about 1 pound), strings removed 
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tsp kosher salt 

1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. 

2. Blanch 2 cups of the snap peas in the boiling water until bright green and crisp-tender, 30 to 45 seconds, then transfer to the ice bath. When cool, transfer the peas to paper towels to drain. 

3. Heat a skillet (preferably cast-iron) over high heat. 

4. In a mixing bowl, toss the remaining 2 cups of snap peas with the oil and salt. When the skillet is very hot, add the salted and oiled peas and char them on one side without moving them around, 30 to 45 seconds. Work in batches so that you do not crowd the pan. 

5. Turn the peas over and char the other side, then transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature before assembling the salad. 

To serve

  • Blanched and charred snap peas 
  • 4 globe radishes, cut into small wedges 
  • ¼ cup finely chopped mixed herbs (such as parsley, tarragon, and chives) 
  • Flaky sea salt 
  • 2 cups baby lettuce (such as arugula or romaine) 
  • Manchego vinaigrette 
  • ½ cup coarsely grated Manchego cheese 
  • ½ red finger chili, thinly sliced 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the blanched and charred snap peas with the radishes, half of the herbs, and a big pinch of flaky salt; toss to combine. 

2. Divide the lettuce among four plates and top with the snap pea mixture. 

3. Drizzle with the dressing (about 2 Tbsps per plate). Garnish with the cheese, sliced chili, and remaining herbs. Grind some pepper over each salad and serve.

A Lemon Curd Icebox Cake to Ring in Warm Weather

This lovely light dessert comes from chef Lauren Katz. Her version of the recipe calls for homemade lemon curd, but the store bought variety would work well too. This cake is easy to pull together, but needs to chill for at least 6 hours, so plan ahead. 

lemon curd icebox cake slice
Just look at those layers

I like to think of this as a cross between ice cream cake and frozen lemon meringue pie. The recipe is based on one of my favorite things to make: tart and luscious lemon curd. Two other easily accessible ingredients, whipped cream and graham crackers, play a supporting role. The cake itself is easy to make; the layering process is one of my ultimate forms of zen. The best part (second to eating it) is that I always end up with some extra lemon curd to mix into yogurt, spread on toast, and spoon into ice cream throughout the week.

All together now

Lemon Curd Icebox Cake

For the lemon curd 

  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 7 lemons)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 stick room temperature butter, diced
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

For the cake

  • 1 batch homemade lemon curd (or store bought) 
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 18 full graham cracker sheets 

Make the lemon curd:

1. In a small pot, combine the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar. Whisk until thoroughly combined, then stir in the lemon juice, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon zest. 

2. Cook on medium, stirring constantly, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon (you should be able to run your finger through the mixture on the spoon and leave a trail). Transfer to a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl and strain thoroughly to remove any lumps. 

3. While the mixture is still hot, gradually whisk in the butter until melted and combined, then whisk in the sweetened condensed milk. Let cool to room temperature. 

Assemble the icebox cake:

1. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream on high until slightly thickened. Add the lemon zest and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. 

2. Line an 8 x 5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 3-inch overhang on each side. Cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of graham crackers (breaking into small pieces if necessary). Spread an even layer of lemon curd over the crackers, followed by an even layer of whipped cream over the curd. Repeat layering until you’ve reached the top (ideally ending with a layer of graham crackers). Tightly cover with the plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 6 hours.

3. When ready to serve, unwrap the plastic on top of the cake, then invert the pan onto a serving dish. Carefully remove the pan and plastic wrap. Slice and enjoy! 

lemon curd icebox cake oozing
Seriously, how good does this look?

Looking for more easy desserts? Try these five-ingredient blondies.