This is a super-fast and uber-easy way to cook asparagus into a sophisticated summer side dish. It cooks for a very short time, and the lemon adds an unexpected twist. Use a timer and cook the asparagus for the directed time, or you'll end up with a mushy mess. Because it takes only a few minutes, cook the asparagus when the rest of the meal is ready to go. That way, you won't get distracted with something else and lose track of time.
This colorful dinner is easy to throw together and results in a colorful dish you'll be proud to put on the table. Don't see your favorite vegetables listed? Play with the recipe and add your favorites. Baked veggies are easy side dishes that you can serve year-round, but they're especially good during the summer months when the vegetables are fresh.
Roasted brussels sprouts
Not everyone likes Brussels sprouts, but they're hard to resist when they're roasted. Roasted Brussels sprouts are soft and warm, and a heavy coating of salt makes them more of a savory treat than a hard- to-eat vegetable. Try this recipe just once, and even your most finicky eaters will become Brussels sprouts lovers.
Old bay sweet potatoes
Old Bay is a spice popular for seasoning fish, but its wonderful flavor makes it useful in many other ways. Old Bay Sweet Potatoes are a great dinner side (try them with steaks!) and are fun to serve at a cookout. They're a healthier alternative to French fries and standard potatoes, and the sweet but tangy taste is guaranteed to be a hit with any crowd. Find Old Bay Seasoning in the seafood section of your local grocery store.
Cauliflower lemon salad
Cauliflower Salad is a quick and easy way to transform a boring head of cauliflower into a fun and interesting side. Serve it for dinner at home, or take it to a barbecue. This recipe calls for dill -- but if that's not your thing, substitute it with your favorite herb.
Three pepper sauté
This easy Three Pepper Sauté makes a great stand-alone side dish that's even better served over a steak. If peppers alone aren't enough for you, add mushrooms or zucchini to the mix. Try topping this tasty dish with shredded Parmesan cheese during the last few minutes of cooking.
Summer tomato salad
Tomato Salad is a treat reserved for summer. It's super quick and easy to make but works only with the freshest tomatoes. It's even more beautiful when made with a variety of tomatoes (especially of different colors) -- but if you only have one type on hand, it'll still be delicious.
||Visit your local farmers market weekly. The selection changes as the season passes.
More vegetable recipes & tips
Health benefits of harvest vegetables
Top 10 healthiest vegetables
6 Ways to sneak vegetables into your diet