3 Summer Recipes to Enjoy Outdoors


Photo by Elsie Perez, recipes developed by Lynette Mc Evoy of PlanThatParty.com

Cary NC — These 3 summer recipes may help you win the picnic contest at Koka Booth, or simply make your next cul de sac party that much cooler. Not only are the dishes colorful, but everything will stand up to the heat we have in Cary during July. The recipes were written and developed by Lynette Mc Evoy of Plan That Party for CaryCitizen. They are sure to be a hit with your guests.

Fried Green and Red Tomato Panini’s

Using farm fresh produce in the summer is such a treat!  Everything just tastes better.  These Fried Green and Red Tomato Panini’s can be made ahead, wrapped in decorative sandwich wrap and easily transported to your event.

This recipe makes two Paninis.


Aioli Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon brown spicy mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons each olive oil and lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon each salt and ground black pepper


  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup plain bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon each salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 slices each red and green tomatoes (about 3/8” slices)
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 slices sourdough bread (1-ounce slices)
  • 8 slices Muenster cheese (1-ounce slices)
  • 4 slices cooked bacon
  • ¼ medium red onion, sliced and separated into rings

To Make:

  1. In medium airtight plastic container, using a wire whisk, combine all Aioli Sauce ingredients; cover and refrigerate.
  2. In medium mixing bowl beat together milk and egg; set egg wash aside.
  3. In shallow pan combine bread crumbs, flour, salt and pepper. Dip each tomato slice in egg wash; thoroughly coat in bread crumb mixture; set aside.
  4. Spray large frying pan with nonstick cooking spray. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in frying pan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium.  Add tomato slices and cook, turning once, until fork tender and golden brown on both sides.  Remove tomatoes to plate lined with paper towel.
  5. Preheat Panini press*.  Equally brush remaining oil on one side of each bread slice.  Assemble each of two sandwiches, starting with bread slice (oiled side down),  1 slice of cheese,   4 prepared tomato slices,  2 bacon slices and red onion rings to taste,  1 slice of cheese, ending with remaining bread slice (oiled side up).  Arrange sandwich on Panini press and heat for 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and bread is golden.  Wrap each Panini in sandwich paper when cooled.  Serve with Aioli Sauce.

* Sandwich can be grilled in skillet instead of using Panini press, if desired. 

Festive Summer Salad

Enjoy this colorful dish at your next summer celebration.  If you are in a hurry, substitute frozen corn for the fresh.

This recipe makes about 5 cups (or 10 servings).


  • 2 cups cooked fresh corn (about 4 medium ears)
  • 1 can black beans (15-ounces), drained and rinsed
  • ½ medium each red and green bell peppers, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

To Make:

  1. In medium airtight container combine corn, black beans, red and green bell peppers, cilantro and onion; toss to combine.
  2. In small bowl, using a wire whisk, blend remaining ingredients.
  3. Evenly pour dressing over corn mixture and toss to combine; cover and refrigerate.


Photo by Elsie Perez

Photo by Elsie Perez

Baby Peach Pies

There is nothing like fresh peaches in the summertime!  These “baby” pies are certain to satisfy your craving for an all-time summer favorite. I have left the skins on the peaches to add color and fiber to the pies.

This recipe makes 8 pies.


  • 2 thawed frozen prepared pie crust, divided
  • 4 medium peaches, sliced
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon each ground cinnamon and nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

To Make:

  1. Preheat oven to 425˚ F.  Spray nonstick muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray, coating used portion of the pan well.  Roll  dough to 1/8-inch thickness; cut eight 6-inch circles (if you do not have a round cutter this size, a small bowl or cup can be used as a guide) of pie dough and arrange each in  a cup of the muffin pan, leaving a slight overhang (about ¼”).  Using a pastry or pizza cutter, cut remaining crust making thirty-two strips (4”L x ½” W); set aside.
  2.  In medium saucepan combine peaches, brown sugar, 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar, cornstarch, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and cook over medium heat; bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until syrup thickens.  Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally until peaches are tender, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  3.  Add vanilla and stir to combine; spoon equal amounts of filling (about ¼ cup) into each of the prepared pie shells.
  4. Arrange 4 dough strips over each pie, lattice-style,  pressing each strip into overhang; roll overhang, covering strips and forming a finished edge.   Bake pies at 425˚F. for 10 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350˚ F. and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until crusts are golden brown.

Remove from oven and, using a knife, gently go around outer edges of each pie.  Let cool completely

Make one or all three of these delicious recipes and you will make a hit with your party! Using only the freshest of summer ingredients that you can find now in our local farmers markets, the taste of summer will create memories for years to come.


Food coverage on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Whisk of Cary in Waverly Place.

1 reply
  1. Cynthia P. Barnett
    Cynthia P. Barnett says:

    These recipes are so appealing, thanks especially to the colorful presentation in the picture. Food seems more delicious when it’s presented attractively on a platter or on bright mats, tablecloths, etc. I’ll try that salad first—looks easy and summery.

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