From Anca & Christine: Packing a car with friends and heading to the beach is one of summer’s greatest pleasures. Windows rolled down, music blasting and the promise of sand and sun in the not-too-distant future—there’s nothing better. This year, instead of hitting up the beachside pizza place which always leaves you feeling not-so-bathing-suit-ready anymore, pack up your cooler with everything-summer sandwiches, fruit for dessert and sangria for sipping all day long. Make the sangria the night before, then pour them into individual, leak-proof jars or plastic bottles (if your beach doesn’t allow glass). You’ll never have to settle for the fake-syrup tiki bar drinks again. Cheers to better beach days!
Stone Fruit Sangria
Make this early in the morning to serve in the evening or, better yet, the night before to let the flavors marry even more.
1 very ripe peach, thinly sliced
1 very ripe nectarine, thinly sliced
2 apricots, thinly sliced
3 plums, thinly sliced
1 cup basil, fresh mint or lemon verbena
1 bottle white wine, riesling or pinot grigio
1 cup St. Germain
Peach-flavored sparkling water (optional)
Place sliced fruit and basil in a pitcher. Gently mash the fruit and basil to release their juices.
Pour wine and St. Germain over the fruit and give it a good stir. Refrigerate at least 6 hours. When ready to serve, pour sangria in glasses and top off with sparkling water if desired.
Grilled Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches with Garlicky Basil Spread
For the sandwich
We’re sandwich people around here, and that means good bread is always in the freezer, on the counter or in the fridge. A sandwich is always a good idea, and now that we have an abundance of zucchinis, it makes perfect sense to cook them up and enjoy between two slices of bread.
2 zucchinis, sliced lengthwise
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Black pepper, freshly ground
4 ciabatta rolls, cut in half lengthwise
Garlicky Basil Sandwich Spread (see below)
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
In a shallow dish, coat zucchini slices with garlic and 1 tbsp. of the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. Arrange zucchini slices on the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Don’t touch them during this time, or you won’t get those grill marks. Turn over and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove to plate.
Brush the inside of the rolls with remaining oil and place on the grill pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
Assemble the sandwiches by spreading a thick layer of the basil mayo on the bottom of the rolls. Top with zucchini, cheese and tomato slices. Slather more mayo on the top roll and place on top of the sandwich. Eat up—this is a good one.
For the spread
If you have a mason jar and a blender, prepare to be blown away.
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup lemon, juiced (about 2 tsp.)
1 or 2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ -1 cup basil, depending on your taste
Whiz everything up in your blender and store in the fridge. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in the fridge for up to a week.
You can’t go wrong with any fruit combination in summer, but we love pairing watermelon with blackberries.
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh mint
1 small watermelon
1 pint blackberries
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
Make honey-mint simple syrup: In the smallest pot you have, bring honey and water to a simmer until they’re combined, about 5-8 minutes. Turn heat to low, tear mint leaves and add to honey syrup. Let it steep for 5 more minutes, then remove from heat to cool.
Cut watermelon into cubes and gently mix with blackberries and mint. Drizzle with honey-mint syrup.
Your Day at the Beach Grocery List
Extra virgin olive oil (2 tbsp.)
Garlic (3 cloves)
Honey (¼ cup)
Blackberries (1 pt.)
Fresh basil (½ bunch + 1 cup)
Fresh mint (½ cup)
Heirloom tomato (1)
Fresh mozzarella (6 oz.)
Ciabatta rolls (4)
Mayonnaise (½ cup)
St. Germain (1 cup)
White wine (1 bottle)
Download the grocery list here