7 Recipes to Savor Summer's Flavors

By Ann Thelen

Discover seven new recipes to celebrate a bounty of fresh summer produce. Paired with Iowa-grown and raised ingredients, these protein-packed dishes will have you savoring the flavors of the season.

Summer might be starting to wind down, but there is still time to enjoy the season’s bounty of produce. Before the scents of fall start to waft through the kitchen, put bright, colorful and fresh produce to use with new recipes.

Whether gathering around the kitchen table, a picnic table or a sunset meal on the deck, relish in celebrating Iowa’s delicious and seasonal foods. When enjoying these fresh foods, focus on where they come from and how they magically elevate almost every dish. For backyard gardeners, the fruits (or vegetables!) of your labor are sure to be appreciated for the unmistakable flavor and textures fresh tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and herbs add to a meal. If your produce basket or bag is filled with farmers market finds, there is additional satisfaction in knowing you’re supporting local growers.

With these recipes, fresh vegetables share the stage with Iowa-raised proteins. Iowa’s farmers likely had a hand in creating this bounty of fresh foods, which is an extra reason to savor the rays of summer winding down.

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Frito Corn Salad I Iowa Corn Promotion Board

Add some crunch to a summer side dish with this easy Frito Corn Salad recipe! This dish is part salad and part dip, combined to be 100% delicious. Sweet corn, peppers, onions, cheese, creamy dressing and crunchy corn chips are tossed together for one epic salad worthy of any occasion, big or small.

Corn chips are made with corn oil from field corn (99% of corn raised in Iowa is field corn). Corn oil is regarded highly for its functionality, exceptional flavor, affordability, and health benefits. It is high in energy, easily digestible, provides Vitamin E and is a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which help regulate blood cholesterol levels and lower elevated blood pressure. Not only is this a fantastic summer dish, it’s also perfect for tailgating season, which is right around the corner, too! Find the recipe here.

Zucchini Dippers | The Soyfoods Council

Move over sweet potato fries; there is a new vegetable on the scene! Zucchini Dippers, breaded and baked zucchini fries, are a zesty side dish to serve alongside grilled salmon, turkey, pork or beef. The mild flavor of this versatile summer squash pairs well with a variety of recipes. In this recipe, zucchini sticks are breaded in textured soy protein (also known as TSP or TVP), which is rich in soy protein and extremely low in both fat and sodium. It is also a good source of fiber. Serve the zucchini with marinara sauce, ranch dressing, chipotle mayo, honey mustard or your favorite sauce. Find the recipe here.

Puff Pastry Galettes with Eggs | Iowa Egg Council

Galettes are one of the most beloved dishes in French cuisine. While they are often filled with fruits or cream, not all glorious galettes need to be desserts. Put your bushel baskets of cherry tomatoes and flavorful herbs to use with this puff pastry galette. A base of creamy goat cheese blended with fresh garlic, chives, dill and lemon provides a special backdrop for sunny-side up eggs to shine. The puff pastry adds a perfectly light and flaky crust to structure the dish without overwhelming the base ingredients. With the powerhouse nutritional qualities of eggs, this recipe is an excellent source of protein and choline, and a good source of vitamin A. Find the recipe here.

Tandoori Grilled Chicken and Fattoush Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing | Midwest Dairy

If you’ve ever wondered how to make tandoori chicken, summertime is the perfect opportunity to learn how. Named in part for the clay ovens, or “tandoor,” used to make Indian foods like naan, this tandoori chicken recipe is designed for a backyard grill. Serve the chicken with fattoush salad for an easy way to maximize garden staples like cherry tomatoes and cucumbers or parsley and mint from your garden or deck pots.

Fattoush is a “bread salad” said to have originated in Northern Lebanon. Lebanese farmers would fry leftover pita scraps in a bit of olive oil for extra flavor and then throw the pita chips in with whatever in-season vegetables and herbs were on hand. Greek yogurt brings this nutritious dish together as both a marinade and a salad dressing while adding healthy protein. The cool flavors of the yogurt pair beautifully with the warm spices of ginger, coriander, cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for a spectacular meal. Find the recipe here.

Mediterranean Pork Chops | Iowa Pork Producers Association

Turn a plentiful zucchini harvest into a platter of zoodles, the perfect complement for Mediterranean Pork Chops. The diets of this region, known for its desirable climate and turquoise water, are built on the simplicity and palette of the area’s bright and colorful fruits and vegetables. You don’t have to board a plane to enjoy the flavors of this cuisine; bring it straight to your kitchen with this dish. Fresh-from-the-garden cherry tomatoes are lightly seasoned, roasted and blistered, giving way to extraordinary flavor. Dashes of Greek Seasoning enhance the already delicious flavor of center-cut boneless pork chops, cooked to a perfect internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Find the recipe here.



Champagne Steak Salad with Blue Cheese | Iowa Beef Council and Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.

The name of this recipe, Champagne Steak Salad with Blue Cheese, sounds like a celebration. Grilled steak and peppers grace the top of this plate of fresh green beans and mixed salad greens, which is finished with a champagne vinaigrette. The homemade dressing flawlessly blends champagne, olive oil, salt and pepper with the surprise ingredient of maple syrup. It’s sweet, sassy, and oh, so delicious! The recipe calls for ranch steak, which is a lean cut of beef also known as arm steak, ranch cut or shoulder center steak. Affordable, flavorful, lean and versatile, it is great for grilling or broiling. Find the recipe here.



Tex-Mex Turkey Kebab Bowls | National Turkey Federation & Iowa Turkey Federation

Turkey breast is the perfect protein to top this colorful, flavor explosion of a meal. Yogurt, garlic, maple syrup, olive oil, lime juice, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper combine to create a delightful marinade for protein-rich turkey breasts. Fill a bowl with your favorite greens, grains or vegetable noodles. Add in some grilled vegetables, a squeeze of fresh lime, cilantro, guacamole, salsa and crushed tortilla chips. When serving this recipe, don’t be surprised when family and guests say, “We want more, por favor!” Find the recipe here.