With a refrigerator full of ready-to-eat salads and vegetables, you’re almost ready for spur-of-the-moment summer meals.
The only things missing are jars of sauces and herbed oils to dress your sandwich or top a platter of grilled vegetables.
Homemade condiments are simple to assemble and don’t require any heat. Usually, they’re a lucky combination of ingredients you already have on hand. And since they keep for a while, you can make them at the start of the week and use them until the weekend rolls around again.
Colorful and full of flavor, oils spiked with bits of herbs are a quick way to dress everything from eggs en cocotte to salmon cheeks. Whipped up in a blender or food processor, these are faster and more flavorful than infused oils, with combinations limited only by the contents of your herb garden. One of our favorites to keep around is a mix of chives, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and olive oil. Or try this parsley and mint oil (along with the rest of the recipe).
Two staples of the summer refrigerator are a logical step up from herbed oils: pesto and chimichurri. Both herb-forward sauces are good on almost anything. Make this classic pesto and a vinegar-spiked chimichurri and you can look forward to a perfect summer pasta salad and fragrant steaks in the same week.
A dash of cooling yogurt or creamy aioli can be just the thing for dipping warm vegetables (just out of the ground, just off the grill) or dressing a sandwich on a warm day. Start with yogurt-tahini sauce or this garlic aioli.
Keep a few of these around and you’ll be ready for any light summer meal.