Summer barbecue recipes

Mar 13, 2009 at 4:59 p.m. ET

The summer barbecue: It's a standard player in American culinary culture and an easy way to enjoy dining al fresco in the warm-weather months. From the simple hamburger to a Latin version of skirt steak, get your grill on with these summer recipes for outdoor barbecues.

BBQ Foods

Sassy and Spicy Burgers

Serves 4

Feel free to use beef, turkey or even buffalo as the meat in this reinvention of an American classic.

1 pound ground beef or turkey
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 hamburger buns, split
4 slices cheddar cheese
Lettuce leaf and tomato for garnish

Mix the meat, mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning together in a bowl. Heat the grill to medium-high. Shape the mixture into four individual patties 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Place the patties on the grill and cook covered for 15 minutes or until desired doneness. Turn once. Remove from grill, top each with a slice of cheese, and serve on a bun.

Herb-Grilled Vegetable Kabobs

Serves 6

While just about any vegetables will do, the firmer your vegetable choices, the better they will stand up to the heat of the grill.

2 large red peppers, quartered, core and seeds removed
1 eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
12 large mushrooms (cremini or white)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon minced sage leaves
1 tablespoon minced rosemary
1 tablespoon minced basil
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt

Combine all ingredients except vegetables in a large, shallow glass or ceramic dish. Add the vegetables and coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. When ready to grill, bring the vegetables to room temperature, place on kabob skewers, and grill over medium-high heat for 5 to 10 minutes on each side.

Skirt Steak With Chimichurri Sauce

Serves 4

Originally from Argentina, this is a popular sauce used with grilled meats throughout Latin America.

1 bunch flat leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds skirt steak

Place all ingredients except steak into the food processor and blend. Pour marinade into a gallon-size freezer plastic bag. Add the skirt steak, coat with the marinade, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours to overnight. When ready to cook, heat the outdoor grill to medium-high. Remove the skirt steak from the bag and scrape off any extra marinade. Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and set aside. Cook the steak on the preheated grill until it reaches desired doneness. Once cooked, let it rest, covered with tin foil, for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. While the steak is resting, heat the remaining marinade over medium heat and bring to simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the sliced steak and serve.