Fourth of July

American dishes for an American summer holiday.


Fourth of July

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A summer classic. (Photo: Rikki Snyder for The New York Times)

If the dish looks funny but tastes fine, the solution is easy: rename it. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

This recipe calls for heating the liqueur to hasten maceration time, and further impregnate the cherries with booze. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

Sumptuous strawberries stuffed with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

Here is a chocolate ice cream topping that has a texture nearly identical to that of the commercial product Magic Shell (which also contains coconut oil), but with a far richer, more fudgy flavor. (Photo: Evan Sung for The New York Times)

This luxurious raspberry dessert is quite easy to make — you simply fold fresh raspberry syrup into a glossy stiff meringue and garnish with fresh berries. Though it is frozen, it is lighter and airier than ice cream, as it doesn’t freeze solid. It tastes rich, but contains no dairy. (Photo: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)

Browning the butter elevates these plebeian snacks into something more toothsome, and it adds just an extra couple of minutes to the process. They’re so good. (Photo: Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times)

There are no bad watermelons, but how can you improve your chances for a ripe, delicious one? The cheater’s answer is to buy them at a farm stand or a farmers’ market, where not only are they likely to be tastier but will also come with a seasoned pro to help. (Photo: Sam Kaplan for The New York Times)

Beating some goat cheese into almond butter, along with regular butter and confectioners’ sugar, makes for a pan of almond candy bars grounded by a tart earthiness that tones down the sugar. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

Start with sweet potatoes, which are in season, beautiful and cheap, and roast them with red onion and olive oil. Roasting instead of boiling makes a huge difference: not only do you get a rich, smoky flavor, but the peeled exterior is toughened a bit so that the potatoes stay intact when tossed with the other ingredients. You can serve this sweet potato salad warm or at room temperature; it’s great both ways. (Photo: Evan Sung for The New York Times)

This light and refreshing potato salad is the antithesis of the usual, creamy, mayonnaise-based recipes. The mint and scallion add a bright, herbal flavor while the sprinkle of chile lends a kick. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

You may worry about the amount of dressing in this luscious salad, but you’ll find that it is largely absorbed by the potatoes. The salad resembles a classic creamy potato salad with lots of crunchy celery, but there’s only a smidgen of mayonnaise here. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

Homemade garlic aioli gives this otherwise classic potato salad a pungent kick. If you don’t want to add the hard-cooked eggs, use another 1/2 pound of potatoes instead. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

A spicy take on the usual pink potato salad recipe (which is made with Russian dressing instead of straight mayonnaise), this unusual mix also includes sriracha and kimchi to liven things up. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

The Tuscan bread salad called panzanella is the perfect place to use those sad, soft tomatoes that are still rich in flavor. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

The German-style potato salad doesn’t contain any mayonnaise, but is rich with bacon, whole-grain mustard and sweet fried shallots. It’s best served warm while the bacon still glistens with fat, but is also nice at room temperature. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

In this trifle-like dessert, a tender coconut macaroon cake is layered with whipped cream and juicy ripe peaches. It’s allowed to rest in the refrigerator so the cake can absorb the cream and peach juices, and the whole thing turns into an almost puddinglike confection. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

This recipe has been specially engineered to be made in advance. It’s seasoned assertively, so the flavors won’t dull as it cools. But the real key is double-dipping the chicken in the flour mixture before you fry it, making for an extra-crunchy crust that holds up all afternoon. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

One of easiest things to pull off is a melange of quickly grilled fruit, brushed with a ginger sauce that itself takes about five minutes to put together. (Photo: The New York Times)

The sweet, juicy watermelon against the salty, creamy feta and pungent onions is a winning combination. This version introduces heat — if you serve it right after grilling the melon (it isn’t a must) — and char. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

These grilled pizzas require no precooked sauce, though you could use some if you wanted to. The cherry tomatoes warm up but don’t collapse as they would in a hot oven. The arugula is sprinkled on when the pies come off the grill. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

A bright favorite of summer, cherry tomatoes get the fire treatment here. Instead of being served plain or as part of a salad, they are tossed with salt and pepper and skewered and grilled until slightly soft and a bit blistered. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

First you toss them in a mix of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, then you grill them on both sides just until they soften and grill marks appear (at which point they are warm all the way through and just beginning to become jammy), then you remove from the grill and brush with pomegranate molasses. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)

Here is a surprising vegetarian option for the backyard barbecue. The saltiness of the cheese cuts the sweetness of the watermelon. The burger gets its savory nature from the grill and a hit of onion. (Photo: Yunhee Kim for The New York Times)

Pizzas made on the grill are really more like topped flatbreads. They get plenty of direct heat, so the surfaces brown nicely, but not enough ambient heat, even with the lid closed, for a crumb to develop on the rim of the pizza. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)