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13 Recipes to Upgrade Your Memorial Day Cookout


Fire up the grill and launch into summer BBQ season with our favorite off-the-beaten-path seasonal recipes.

Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of grilling season, but there’s more to a good barbecue than piling burgers and dogs over an open flame. Here are some of our favorite summer recipes to show off all the amazing flavors this season has to offer.

Photo by Hugh Stewart | Martha’s Entertaining

Martha Stewart’s Cherry Mojitos

When cherries come into season, there are plenty of ways to use them — pies, salads, compotes, and more — but nothing’s quite as simple as macerating them in lime and simple syrup to create this refreshing, big-batch vodka-based mojito.

Courtesy Mission Taqueria

Mission Taqueria’s Summer Frosé

Poolside on a sunny day with a glass of frosé in hand sounds like a summer dream. The best part: You don’t need a fancy bartender to make this frosty, picture-perfect cocktail. Pleasantville’s Mission Taqueria shares its refreshing recipe.

Watermelon, Tomato, and Feta Salad

Two of summer’s all-stars, watermelon and tomato, share the spotlight in this one-bowl salad that’s perfect for a backyard barbecue or to pack in Tupperware for lunch at your desk on a random Tuesday.

Photo by Ken Gabrielsen

Grilled Oysters with Cultured Butter and Aleppo Pepper

Eugene’s chef Iulia Mahu prefers local, sustainable Stella Mar oysters for this recipe. Plan ahead — the beurre blanc needs to be stored in the fridge overnight, but it’s well worth it. Can’t find pequin peppers? Arbol chilies are a good substitute

Provided photo

Herb-Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts

Skip the gloopy barbecue sauce and try this stupid-simple, perfectly charred chicken recipe. Even with time to marinate in white wine, chopped herbs, garlic, shallot, and lemon, dinner’s on the table in less than 45 minutes.

Courtesy Exit 4 Food Hall

Exit 4 Food Hall’s Rotiss-a-Q Smoked Pulled Pork 

Low and slow is the mantra of all good pit masters, and marinating this pork overnight is going to bring out all the complex flavors imbued within.

Photo by Ken Gabrielsen

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon

Cook to impress at your next barbecue with this no-fuss grilling technique that delivers big on flavor and presentation. The cedar grilling plank infuses the salmon with a smoky, sumptuous flavor. For a milder aroma, try alder or maple wood.

Photo by Ken Gabrielsen

 Corn al Parmigiano

The Cookery’s Chef Sajin Renae Renae has a riff on Mexican street corn that features two topping options: a charred tomato vinaigrette and an avocado mash. For smaller servings, grilled ears of corn can be cut in half before coating.

Courtesy Revenge BBQ

Revenge BBQ’s Mac n Cheese

Kick back with a bowl of this cheesy goodness from Revenge BBQ in Irvington.

Photo by Andre Baranowski

Blueberry Crumbles

When August blueberry season hits, there’s nothing better — or easier — than a quick crumble. (Sorry, pie crust.) This recipe also freezes well so you can have a taste of summer well into the fall.

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Living | Omnimedia

Martha Stewart’s Firecracker Ice Pops

Because Martha. And hot summer days. And Fourth of July. And ’Murica.

Strawberry Shortcake Biscuits 

Sara Leand, owner of The Snackery Bakeshop in Larchmont shares her recipe for the shop’s light and fluffy strawberry shortcake biscuits.

Grilled Peach-Cherry Manhattan Sundaes

For her Manhattan-cocktail-inspired sundae, L’inizio’s Heather Fratangelo likes using local whiskey and Hudson Valley-based Crown Maple Syrup.

Read More: Summer Barbecue Recipes From Westchester’s Top Woman Chefs