Whether you're responsible for appetizers, sides or dessert, these recipes are perfect to pair with any Fourth of July gathering!
Red, White, & Blueberry Cheese Bites
2 ounces white sharp cheddar, cubed
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
skewers or toothpicks
With a skewer, alternate placing cheese, blueberries, and raspberries for a red, white and blue pattern.
Repeat the process for each skewer until you run out of ingredients.
Zucchini-Lentil Fritters with Lemony Yogurt
3/4 cup whole-milk yogurt
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup red lentils
1 medium zucchini
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. Kashmiri chile powder or 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1 cup parsley leaves
1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zeal
1 cup ghee (or natural vegetable oil)
To fix the lemony yogurt drip, simply whisk yogurt, lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl to combine. Season with salt and whisk again to combine. This can be prepared a day ahead of time and should be covered and chilled until time to serve.
Rinse lentils, then soak in 2 cups water at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours. Soaking the lentils for this long will make them more plump and tender, which in turn makes them a lot easier to blend.
Meanwhile, trim ends of zucchini and cut crosswise into 3 pieces about 2 inches long. Cut each piece lengthwise into 1/4"-thick planks. Stack a few planks and slice lengthwise into 1/4"-thick matchsticks (about the size of a skinny french fry). Transfer zucchini to a colander set in a medium bowl. Add onion and 1 tsp. salt to colander and toss to combine. Let zucchini and onion sit until 1 tbsp. liquid has released and the vegetables look wilted and soft (about 30-minutes to 2-hours). Gently pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. The less moisture in the veggies, the less soggy your fritters will be.
Drain lentils and transfer them to a food processor. Add chile powder, turmeric, and ¾ tsp. salt. Pulse, scraping down sides, until a purée form. Transfer to a medium bowl and add zucchini and onion mixture, parsley, and lemon zest. Toss well with a rubber spatula to combine (it will look like too many vegetables for the lentils, but that’s just what you want).
Heat ghee (or vegetable oil) in a 10" cast-iron skillet over medium-high until a small amount of batter added to the fat excitedly sizzles and sputters. Carefully drop ¼ cup batter into ghee, then flatten to a pancake with the back of a large metal spoon dipped into the hot ghee to prevent sticking. Repeat 3 times for a total of 4 fritters. Fry until deep golden brown on one side (look for the color of a well-fried falafel), about 3 minutes. Turn with a slotted spatula or large spoon and continue to fry until deep golden brown on the second side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer fritters to a wire rack set in a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Season immediately with salt. Repeat with the remaining batter (you should have 8–10 fritters).
Transfer fritters to a platter. Serve hot with lemony yogurt alongside.
Trail Mix Cookies
1 1/2 cups assorted raw nuts and seeds
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 large egg
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup assorted dried fruit (cut into 1/2" pieces if large)
3/4 cup chopped bittersweet or dark chocolate bars, chips, or disks
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Place racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350°. Toast nuts and seeds and oats on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; let cool.
Meanwhile, mix egg, butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl; let sit until nuts are cool (this will make for a chewier cookie).
Add dried fruit and chocolate to the nut mixture; toss to combine. Give egg mixture a good stir, then stir in flour. Mix in nut mixture, smashing it against the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until combined and mix-ins are evenly coated in the dough. (It will look like too many mix-ins, but the dough will come together as it chills.) Cover and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
Reheat oven to 350°. Using a ⅓-cup measure or #16 cookie scoop, portion out the dough, packing firmly, to make 12 cookies. Divide between 2 parchment-lined baking sheets as you go. Using a measuring cup or your hand, press cookies into 2½"-diameter disks about ¾" thick; sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets top to bottom and front to back once, until golden brown and no longer wet-looking, 11–13 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets.