When you feel hungry, you don’t need to turn on the oven. Open the fridge, let the cold air blow over your face, and reach for the chilled produce to create, not cook, your next bite. These light snacks will make you happy when it’s over 100 degrees outside. Or even, you know, 109.
Use these recipes to make a cold or room-temperature appetizer. And if you linger in front of the open fridge looking for ingredients, I understand. All I do these days is imagine somewhere cooler.
Sugar Peaches and Cream: Place the peeled peach slices in a bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar on top. Stir to coat. Pour the cream over the peaches until they are barely covered. Put in the fridge and let it sit for 30 minutes (if you have the patience). Top with your favorite torn herbs, such as mint or basil. If you prefer an alcoholic version, replace the cream with sparkling dry wine.
Raw Pesto: In a food processor, combine enough basil leaves, two to three tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, a small handful of pine nuts (you can omit them) and a pinch of salt. Close the lid and start making blintzes. Once the ingredients are broken down, slowly pour in the olive oil while the food processor is still running. Pour until the pesto reaches the desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings by adding salt or pate. Serve the pesto with a variety of chilled raw vegetables and cold hard-boiled eggs.
Nutella Fluffer Graham Crackers: Spread a generous amount of Nutella on top of the graham crackers. Top with marshmallows and your favorite accessories: chopped nuts, sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, etc.
Cold pita chicken sandwich: Roughly chop one to two cups of cold grilled chicken. Place the chicken in a bowl with a few tablespoons of chopped kalamata olives, a pinch of red pepper flakes, a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir until combined. Fill the pita bread mixture with a slice of tomato and onion. Sprinkle natural yogurt with squeezed lemon juice on top. Salt to taste.
Prosciutto and melons: Wrap the slices of cold prosciutto around the slices of cold melon. Top with olive oil and fresh basil leaves. Serve with cold burrata or mozzarella.
Sandwich with tomatoes: On a cutting board, cut the ripest tomatoes you can find into thick slices. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and a splash of red wine vinegar; let stand for 15 to 30 minutes. Spread thick slices of white bread with an excessive amount of delicious mayonnaise and add tomatoes. Eat immediately.
Tagine salad with watermelon: Place cold pieces of watermelon with chopped fresh mint leaves in a bowl and sprinkle with tagine. Stir and add fresh lime juice to taste.
Tomato and ricotta salad
Author’s note: I love fresh summer tomatoes served with burrata, olive oil and balsamic. This recipe removes the burrata and uses ricotta, which has a similar flavor and texture to burrata filling. Serve this salad with crusty bread and a glass of chianti.
4 cups of halved cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup ricotta
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/4-1/3 cup of basil leaves, chiffonade
In a serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, ricotta, balsamic, salt, pepper and basil. Mix thoroughly. Put in the refrigerator to harden. Serve cold with crusty bread.
Author’s note: This recipe is easy to double. However, instead of doubling the salt, season to taste after making the sauce. Chopped (boiled) and chilled shrimp along with pickled red onions make the perfect topping for this sauce.
3 cups diced avocado
Juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
Cilantro, on top
Place the avocado, lime juice, cumin, salt, sour cream, and garlic cloves in a medium bowl. Beat with an immersion blender until smooth. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top. Serve with chips.