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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

Mussels and clams with pesto on outdoor grill, a 10-minute topping recipe for grilled fish

A quick sauce, topping or marinade can add flavor to a meal, such as this pesto sauce for mussels and clams. — Photo by: Lisa Hubbard/Getty Images

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. >>

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