Summer is a time to slow down, enjoy those warm, humid nights and spend time with friends and family. The season's pace is a little slower and the last thing you want to do is pore over complicated recipes and slave over the stove. What you need are some easy summer recipes that feature the best summer has to offer: crisp vegetables, sweet fruits and a bounty of fresh seafood.
Whether you're planning a large get-together or a simple family meal, take Mother Nature's advice and try out these easy summer recipes.
Dungeness crab au naturel
This minimalist crab recipe is fast — you'll be cracking open shells in about half an hour — and simple. In fact, it has just four ingredients — and that includes the crabs. Serve this delicious summer recipe outside with paper plates and newspaper for the shells. Read more: Dungeness crab au naturel recipe
Oysters on the half shell
If the crab takes too long to cook — or if you just have a hankering for plump, raw oysters — try this other simple seafood dish. All you'll need is lemon wedges, the sauce of your choice and oysters, of course. Read more: Oysters on the half shell recipe
Grilled eggplant sandwich
Whether you're a vegetarian or a self-proclaimed carnivore, you'll love this Italian-inspired veggie sandwich. Turn on that grill, slice the eggplant and be ready to chow down in just 15 minutes. Read more: Grilled eggplant sandwich recipe
Corn and zucchini medley
No matter what you grill out this summer, Mother Nature has the perfect side dish. This scrumptious vegetable medley can be made with ingredients fresh from the farmers market, but the best part is that it's ready to eat in just a matter of minutes. Read more: Corn and zucchini medley recipe
Fish baked in beer batter
Spend a few extra minutes preparing this dish — we're talking 22 minutes — and you'll have people thinking you were cooking all day. This easy summer recipe yields moist fish topped with a flavorful red pepper sauce and a spinach garnish. And it goes great with a pale summer lager. Read more: Fish baked in beer batter recipe
Mushroom and green chile quesadillas
Spice up your summer with some Latin flavor. Pick up some fresh mushrooms, onions and peppers at the local farmers market, toss them in a skillet, and you'll be enjoying a flavorful quesadilla in under an hour. Read more: Mushroom and green chile quesadillas recipe
Invite the neighbors over because you're going to have a lot of delicious food to share. This simple shrimp recipe yields 8-10 servings of spicy shrimp, soft potatoes and sweet summer onions. The best part? Dinner will be ready in about 40 minutes. Read more: Shrimp boil recipe
Gingery peach crisp
This summer recipe takes a bit more time, but it contains just six ingredients — and it's worth the wait. Buy a bounty of fresh, sweet peaches, bake them with sugar and ginger, and prepare to dazzle your tastebuds with this simple, summery dessert. Read more: Gingery peach crisp recipe
Have your own easy summer recipes you'd like to share? Leave a note in the comments below.