Roadside farm stands, sunset cocktails on the porch, the inviting aroma of dinner on the grill—that’s the kind of perfect Southern summer conjured up by TV culinary personality Katie Lee’s new cookbook Endless Summer. With photos, anecdotes, and scrawling notes, the collection reads much like a cook’s summertime scrapbook, entreating readers to entertain this delicious season for one more meal.
Childhood summers for the West Virginia native meant enjoying fresh vegetables from her grandfather’s expansive garden and spending lots of time with her tight-knit family. Katie recalls the group “centered our days around our meals, talking about the next day’s breakfast at dinner, lunch at breakfast, and so on.” When life’s adventures eventually landed her in the Hamptons, she was pleasantly surprised to discover that the same priority was placed on farm-fresh produce and community. She says, “All those overused buzzwords like ‘seasonal’ and ‘local’ are not the latest food fad here but a way of life, as in my childhood home in West Virginia.”
The two worlds—along with many of the other places Katie has lived and traveled—blend together in Endless Summer, which features sections for morning fuel, light meals, cocktail hour, dinners, and desserts. The bounty of the season shines in her take on Southern classics like Zucchini and Squash Bake and Peach Blueberry Skillet Cobbler, as well as in more global creations, such as Apricot Herb Couscous and Adobo Chicken Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Grilled Corn.
A number of her entertaining standbys are included—“I like to keep it casual, comfortable, and chic,” Katie promises—as are recipes that capture the spirit of summertime. “I always say that food is like music; it’s nostalgic.” Take her Minty Watermelon Lemonade Pops, for example, or her Pecan Ice Cream Balls with Fudge Sauce, reminiscent of the drumstick treats found on ice cream trucks. “Eating something can transport you,” she continues. The desired destination? Always summer.
Transport yourself to Katie’s Endless Summer with her recipe for Cornbread Panzella, and enter to win your copy of her cookbook.
- Olive Oil
- 1 loaf cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped
- 1 English cucumber, chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 15 fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped capers
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- To make the salad: Preheat the oven to 400°. Oil a baking sheet.
- Put the cornbread on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt. Bake until nicely toasted, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the cornbread, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and basil.
- To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together.
- Add the dressing to the cornbread and vegetables, and toss. Let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.