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10 Toppings You Can Make in 10 Minutes

Sauce recipes, salad dressings and other flavorings will make your summer meals special

Tangy marinades, simple salad dressings, fruit toppings for frozen desserts. These sauces can certainly make a meal. Rather than relying on oil, sugar or salt, these recipes use inventive herbs, spices and exotic ingredients to provide vast margins of flavor. And making a sauce or marinade in your own kitchen can save time and money, as opposed to reading labels in the supermarket.

See also: Find a farmers market near you.

For savory dishes:

Summer cooking should highlight simple preparations: good quality meats speak for themselves with just a char from the grill, and fresh, seasonal produce is delicious presented raw. These six vinaigrettes, pestos and creamy sauces take meals made of just a few ingredients over the top, and all of them take around 10 minutes to make.

Anchovy Red Wine Dressing by Nigella Lawson: In this recipe, the salty brine of the anchovies is cut by the bite of red wine vinegar.

Light Lemon Mayonnaise by Julia della Croce: Fresh, homemade mayonnaise boasts a depth of flavor and light, velvety texture unlike anything that comes in a jar.

Spinach Pesto by Diane Rossen Worthington: This pesto, delicious on pasta, meat or as an add-in for soups and sauces, can be made a week in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette by Sheila Lukins: This sweet and sour sauce will serve well on chopped salads or as a dipping sauce for chicken fingers or onion rings.

Cucumber-Mint "Raita" by Lorna Sass: This dairy-free dressing, based on the yogurt-based raitas common in Indian cuisine, is made from tofu, lime juice, cilantro, mint and cucumber.

Sweet Plum Vinaigrette by Martin Yan: This tangy, spicy vinaigrette works its magic on everything from cooked greens to grilled lamb.

Next: Sauces and toppings for sweet dishes. >>

In the heat of summer nights, a dish of ice cream is often more appealing than a slice of cake or pie. It's easy to turn a pint of your favorite frozen treat into a special-occasion dessert suited for company: All you need is a spoonful of one of these toppings.

Classic Whipped Cream by Tish Boyle: Dollop it on chocolate cake, spoon it on waffles or drizzle it over a hot fudge sundae: Homemade whipped cream, sweetened and flavored with a hint of vanilla, will find itself at home on all sorts of desserts.

Butterscotch Sauce, Two Ways by James Beard: Whether you prefer the bright sweetness of granulated sugar or the darker, caramel flavor of brown, this butterscotch sauce is delectable poured over ice cream.

Ganache by Warren Brown: The very definition of a creation far greater than the sum of its parts, ganache melds bittersweet chocolate with heavy cream to create a topping for cakes, cupcakes and frozen desserts.

Blonde Mocha Sauce by Nigella Lawson: Creamy melted white chocolate is cut through with espresso powder, served hot or cold for a unique and decadent ice cream topping.

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