Brilliant Sweet-Savory Combos For Summer’s Twilight

Sweet-savory combos bring out the best in the last days of summer. From making ripe veggies on pizza shine, to firing up the grill one last time for fresh-caught fish, a surprising touch of sweetness in your late-summer dinners makes for meals you’ll remember come fall.

It begins with peanut butter and jelly, the original sweet-and-salty treat. Then, with a hop, skip and a jump, this flavor combo finds itself all grown up, dipping a toe in Vietnamese eateries grilling burnt-sugar fish, in Brooklyn hipster heaven pizzerias, and then—in your kitchen.

Spiced Honey On Pizza
Found on the tables of Greenpoint’s Paulie Gee’s, Mike’s Hot Honey has been the borough’s reigning wood-fired pizzeria condiment du jour for years, turning the New York’s favorite meal into something so showstopping, food writers have called it the “Crack Pie of Pizza.” It’s an idea worth spreading, from fellow pizzerias Emily’s to Roberta’s and now to your home, where making your own chili-infused honey happens in a flash. That’s why we’ve created a sweet but fiery honey sauce to drizzle onto our Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Pizza with Mozzarella and Ricotta (above), shipping this month. The sweet, fiery kick of honey meets acid-tart tomatoes plus rich, soft cheese. It’s like a ping pong party in your mouth—with no wait for a table. Try spiced honey on a charcuterie board piled with cured soppressata, at brunch on chicken and waffles, on vanilla ice cream, or drizzled onto a morning bowl of granola.

Watermelon and Halloumi
Watermelon and feta is well-traversed territory for a reason—it’s dead-simple and crazy delicious. This recipe, though, takes the idea and turns it on its head, combining burst grilled tomatoes with torn hunks of hot, grilled halloumi. Cool watermelon joins the party before everything gets drizzled with a green-flecked, herbacious dressing. Yes.
(Image: Bon Appetit)

Grilled Fish and Caramel
This idea might stop you in your tracks, but stay with us. Caramel fish sauce is one of Vietnam’s mother sauces. Bittersweet burnt sugar mingled with funky, aromatic fish sauce is an easy way to add complex, sweet and savory flavor and a burnished sheen to food. Try Andrew Zimmern’s grilled bass with caramel, or make Melissa Clark’s down and dirty version that’s ready in just thirty minutes.
(Image: New York Times)

Beef and Plums
Rich, meaty flank steak can stand up to tart slivers of plum—it’s a foil that brings out the best in both ingredients and still manages to feel light. Try a flank steak salad with peppery arugula and plums, or fire up the grill for grilled steak with plums and bok choy. And when you start to feel the suggestion of fall in the evening air, keep going. This brisket and plums recipe is one that bridges the seasons, taking you from summer stone fruit to fall’s hearty braises.


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