Summertime is a time for being outside and hanging out with friends and family. It is not a time for slaving over a hot stove. Who needs it to be any hotter than it already is? Luckily, summer is also a time when gardens and farmers’ markets are exploding with great produce that requires little else than a bit of chopping and a dash of salt for eating.
Brandon and I love August, because it means heirloom tomatoes and sweet stone fruits, and last summer, I shared one of our very favorite recipes using just those two ingredients. This summer, we’ve happened upon another foolproof dish using one of this season’s best ingredients, and to be honest, not one I’ve ever been fond of: melon. I’ve always found melon to be cloyingly sweet and unpleasant to eat, but when it’s drizzled in mint-infused balsamic vinegar and wrapped in prosciutto, its deliciousness cannot be denied.
Another score for no-cook summer salads: they’re easy to pack for picnics and brown bag lunches. Like Rosemary mentioned in her recipe for wild rice salad, packed lunches can get monotonous, so why not spice them up with an unexpected salad?
Lastly, these recipes are great for brunching and entertaining. Guests will be surprised that you can pair peaches with tomatoes and ham with melon. And to really kick it up a notch, serve your salads with an easy, but refreshing summer cocktail, like a Negroni—our unofficial cocktail of summer 2012. It’s bright red color and citrusy flavor is a great way to get a party started. Continue reading