Having the skills to cook a great meal can come in pretty handy when you have a parent who's almost impossible to shop for. My dad's the kind of man who's happiest picking things out himself, which means that the main gift I give him each Father's Day is a whole lot of delicious food.
Now, I'm sure your dad loves you unconditionally and probably had lots of patience for burnt pancakes when you were a kid, but I think we can agree that it's even better to cook something as delicious as it is memorable. Here's the trick, though—you want memorable, but relatively foolproof; impressive, but not so time-consuming that you spend the whole day in the kitchen instead of actually hanging out with the man you're celebrating.
It's a tall order, I know. Which is why we're here to help.
Perfect Grilled Ribeye Steaks
While there are plenty of great inexpensive steaks for the grill, Father's Day is the kind of special occasion that calls for the big guns. And there's no bigger, juicier, delicious-er gun than a thick, marbled slab of ribeye. All that fat gives the steak its distinctively rich, beefy flavor and moist, melt-in-your-mouth texture. It doesn't hurt that using such a thick cut on the grill also makes it a lot easier to cook it to your preferred level of doneness—check out our definitive guide to grilling steak to see how and why...or just follow the step-by-step instructions in our fool-proofed recipe!
No grill? No problem; this pan-seared and butter-basted steak will do you just fine. What's that? Your dad's a vegetarian, you say? Good thing we've got a black bean burger recipe that'll knock his socks off.
Grilled corn is all well and good, but why stop at an undressed cob when you can slather it in tangy crema, salty cotija cheese, lime juice, garlic, and chili powder? Better yet, it barely takes any extra work—just grill the shucked corn for around eight minutes, spoon the spiked crema all over the cobs, and sprinkle them with some extra cheese and chili powder to serve.
And in case you're wondering, yes: you can make this indoors, too! It won't have that same grill-kissed smokiness, but with all those toppings he won't think twice.
Mediterranean Chopped Salad
Make the most of burgeoning tomato season with this festive and refreshing chopped salad. Our recipe calls for onions and bell peppers to accompany the fresh tomatoes, but any combination of fresh vegetables would work well—think cucumber, jicama, zucchini, or celery. The real trick is in the prep: chop your vegetables and then salt them, allowing extra liquid to drain out through a colander. It'll intensify their flavors and prevent a watery mess from accumulating at the bottom of the dish (especially if you plan to make it ahead of time). And there's no waste—we use those juices to form the base of a tangy vinaigrette! Finish things off with some fresh basil and a sprinkling of feta cheese for a bright and punchy salad to accompany that juicy steak.
Tangy Strawberry Fools
Since Father's Day lands right as strawberries are hitting their prime, this dessert couldn't be more appropriate. Greek yogurt and whipped cream are layered with lemon-spiked macerated strawberries. And, since it needs to chill before serving, it's the perfect make-ahead finish to your meal. We like to serve it in clear glasses for a prettier presentation, but these are the kinds of flavors that speak just fine for themselves.
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