The summer season is full to overflowing with the very best produce. I frequently fall back on a good stir-fry or coconut curry. However, I really enjoy trying new and unique vegetable recipes that showcase the produce that seems never-ending.
In creating this list I wanted to showcase some of the unexpected vegetable recipes that I have turned to again and again. There isn’t one recipe here that I haven’t made multiple times. They are favorites in our household, and I’m sure any gardener will find something worth trying as the summer veg comes on thick and fast.
Even if you don’t grow your own vegetables, you should be able to find most of these in abundance at your local farmers market or roadside stands.
Vegetable Recipes I Make Again and Again
Savory Cabbage Pancakes (Okonomiyaki)
Savory Cabbage Pancakes (Okonomiyaki): This may be the recipe I have made more than any other on this list. I went looking for okonomiyaki after having it at an Asian fusion restaurant, it was that good. My kids love these. My husband and I love these, and they are chock full of vegetables! There are many ways to create okonomiyaki, but I stick with this recipe (even though I don’t measure) because it is simple and consistent. I also often use leeks in place of the green onions.
The only note: It is more authentic and really lovely to top it instead with mayo, this easy sauce (Yes, I’m sure you have all four ingredients already), and bonito flakes. If you are vegetarian, or don’t have them, you can leave off the bonito flakes, but we enjoy the novelty and the fun of adding them.
Tomato Cobbler: Yes, I thought this sounded a bit strange at first too. But I’m willing to try anything, and tomatoes are my big weakness. Well, this vegetable recipe was very, very worthwhile. My husband cannot get enough of it, and I also can’t get over the rich savory quality of this dish. If you grow too many tomatoes (and who doesn’t?) definitely give this one a try.
Roasted Red Cabbage with Lemon and Garlic
Roasted Red Cabbage with Lemon and Garlic: So simple. And so good. This is a very common vegetable side dish to find on our table late in the summer. I have made it with red cabbage, but I usually use a common green cabbage since I’m a bit better at growing them. Either way, it turns out great.
Crispy Brussel Sprouts With Dijon Aioli
Crispy Brussel Sprouts With Dijon Aioli: I am addicted to these brussel sprouts. They are so easy and oh-my-gosh so good. I’m actually quite lousy at growing brussel sprouts, so I’m afraid I buy them frozen just so I can make these when the craving hits. I’ve done a tray in the toaster oven just for lunch. Something about roasting brussel sprouts makes them fabulous, and a generous helping of this dip is spot on.
Bomb Beet Burgers
Bomb Beet Burgers: The first time I made these burgers I did so apologetically. Plant-based meat alternatives are not always a hit at our house. Neither, quite frankly, are beets. However, these vegan patties, full of healthful ingredients, went over really well with everyone—even a dedicated meat eater who popped in for dinner. The trick is not to think of them as a hamburger patty, but to enjoy them for their own excellent flavor and texture.
Braised Leeks: Leeks are not the most common garden veg, but I started growing them every year after I prepared them like this. If I don’t have white wine around I will use a few tablespoons of white wine vinegar in it’s place. I also have started chopping the leeks instead of halving them; it’s not as pretty, but I find they’re easier to manage. I have had to give out this recipe several times, so it comes with strong recommendation. (Well, that’s true of most of the vegetable recipes features here!)
Shakshuka: I ate this for the first time in Israel, and marvelled at how easy, nutritious, and tasty it was. Then I went home and forgot about it for several years. Now that I’ve remembered, it’s a become a common go-to vegetable recipe. I use both fresh tomatoes as well as jars that I preserve. (Learn more about preserving extra produce at Canning Tips for Beginners: What to Know to Get Started.)
I actually never follow a recipe, but this one is very close to what I usually put in. The English phrasing for this dish is eggs in hell or eggs in purgatory—but whatever you call it, I have come to depend on it as part of my repertoire.
Parmesan Roasted Carrot Fries
Parmesan Roasted Carrot Fries: This might count as a fall vegetable recipe, but we enjoy them all year long. Sometimes a meal just demands fries on the side, and making them together means we’re also getting a serving of veg. I often leave of the parmesan if I don’t have it. They won’t be as crispy, but they’re still delicious. I also like to add a pinch of cumin, if I feel like going off script.
Israeli Beetroot Salad
Israeli Beetroot Salad: Is it gorgeous? Not really. Is it yummy? Yes. Do I make it all the time? Also yes. I have also brought this side-dish to potlucks and gatherings. Replace the cilantro with parsley if you’re not a fan. (I am! But I know not everyone falls on that side of the cilantro line.) I also cook the beets in my instant pot. It takes about 12-15 minutes to steam them on the trivet, and it makes this recipe much faster and easier.
Tomato Chickpea Salad
Tomato Chickpea Salad: One last tomato recipe. Because, tomatoes. Using canned chickpeas makes this recipe a breeze, and the flavors all come together beautifully. If your cherry tomatoes are particularly juicy you may want to strain them first, and add immediately before serving.
Now Get Cooking These Vegetable Recipes
Which of these unexpected summer vegetable recipes do you think you’ll try? Also let me know your own favorites in the comments below! Like I said, I’m always on the lookout for a recipe to add to the rotation.