Gaby's Fried Polenta Panzanella plated with drinks in the sunlight

A Note From Us

Welcome, Summer! Welcome to long days, to ice cream cones melting down our arms, and to fireflies at sunset. Welcome to easy meals quickly grilled outdoors and eaten while lounging at picnic tables. Welcome to our first ever Simply Recipes digital issue — our tribute to the backyard bash.

A backyard bash is what you make it, we think. There is no prescribed maximum or minimum number of attendees. You're allowed to call it a bash whether it's four friends gathered around a fire pit or a full-fledged 4th of July party with extended family, neighbors, and dozens of children parading underfoot. You can have the grill going, or you can simply lay out a potluck and a stack of plates. You don't even need a backyard, really! Have your bash on your balcony or front stoop or open garage door — as long as you're outdoors, it counts.

Gaby Dalkin, our cover star, knows all about keeping it easy-breezy when it comes to backyard parties. We're so grateful to her for sharing her Mediterranean-inspired menu as well as her philosophy on outdoor entertaining. If you often find yourself cooking for mixed groups of vegetarians and meat-eaters, check out British grill master Genevieve Taylor's deep dive into the omnivore's grill. Do you live for dessert? Baker and cookbook author Cheryl Day shares her memories of summers in the South, plus three desserts for your summer gatherings.

We editors at Simply Recipes have been working on these stories for months, and we're so excited to finally share them with you. Go ahead — kick off your shoes, pour yourself a lemonade, and spend some time with us planning your next backyard bash.

Emma Christensen headshot
Emma Christensen

Associate General Manager

Ariel Knutson
Ariel Knutson

Editorial Director, News & Features

Gaby Dalkin

When I opened the gate to Gaby Dalkin’s backyard it felt like I had found the hidden key to the Los Angeles version of “The Secret Garden.” It’s not that her backyard is enormous or teeming with prize-winning roses, but it’s the kind of place you could have people over every day for the rest of your life and it would always feel magical.

You hear it before you see it: the sound of someone’s laugh being drowned out by ice hitting a cold glass. The hot hiss of food hitting the grill, the scrape of a peel taking homemade pizza out of a wood-burning oven. You see long tables stretched out lazily in the sun-spattered yard, pockets of seating areas asking to be filled. Tucked in the corner, you’ll find a small pool, its glassy exterior waiting to be disrupted. Why would you ever leave?

Gaby Dalkin standing with plate of food in backyard by grill and flowers

Matt Armendariz

Featured Recipes from Gaby

Omnivore's Grill

The grill is for more than just meaty centerpieces. Use it to add smoky flavor and char to easy starters and bold vegetables, like a whole cauliflower!

Summers in the South

Matter of Paste

A simple paste is the secret to BIG flavor when grilling at a moment's notice. No long marinades here—brush your food with a tasty paste right on the grill.

Grill Skills