If you're looking to throw together a last minute meal for July 4th, or if you've already spent too much time in the kitchen over the long weekend and need something speedy, try these simple, summery COOKish recipes. They're limited to six ingredients each (other than salt, pepper, oil and water) and require very little time. Most importantly, they're simple, streamlined and boldly flavored.
Using pickling liquid in a salad dressing is an easy way to boost flavor while also adding acidity. In this vinaigrette, pickled jalapeños bring heat while their liquid lends an extra dose of green-chili earthiness. The pumpkin seeds and avocado offer enough richness to make the salad a light main course, or pair it with sliced grilled skirt steak or hearty grains such as barley, farro or quinoa.
To give these burgers spicy-sweet flavor and mild garlickiness, we mix Asian chili-garlic sauce and a little brown sugar into the ground pork. We also smear the buns with a chili-garlic mayonnaise. Pillow-soft, subtly sweet buns are a particularly good match for the tender, juicy burgers—we especially like potato buns or rolls. Serve with lettuce, sliced tomato, pickles or any of your favorite burger toppings.
In this twist on an American classic, we add tahini to boost flavor in a buttery oat mixture that bakes on top of juicy blueberries. Be sure to use quick-cooking oats; old-fashioned oats won’t soften quite enough. Ripe fresh berries are best but frozen work, too. Look for frozen “wild” blueberries—they’re tiny, but pack big flavor. If frozen regular berries are a must, add a few minutes to the baking time, but don’t thaw them before use. This crumble is especially delicious warm, with a scoop of ice cream melting on top.
For more Fourth of July weekend ideas, see here.