The dog days of summer are no time to be working over a hot stove or grill, and no one even wants to think about turning on the oven. But before you give up completely on homemade meals and order take-out, consider a different approach to summer “cooking.”
Our favorite types of dishes to enjoy when the mercury rises include things that can be served chilled and come together with minimal prep work, no heat required. We’ve got two such recipes to help cool you down this month. The best part? Both of them offer a lovely balance of savory and sweet elements — long considered to be the power couple of flavor combinations.
We’re putting a fruity twist on gazpacho, a traditional cold soup made of blended raw vegetables. Our Watermelon Gazpacho is full of feel-good fresh ingredients and always tastes light and refreshing on a hot day. With just a bit of light chopping before you throw everything into a blender or food processor, it comes together quickly with minimal effort.
There are dozens of iterations of the classic Italian appetizer of prosciutto and melon; this tasty combination of salty and sweet will never go out of style. Our Prosciutto and Melon Caprese Skewers take things a step further with the addition of creamy mozzarella and fresh basil, drizzled with balsamic glaze.
Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
When chopping the tomatoes, scoop out and discard the seeds and any tough white core. If you can’t find heirloom
tomatoes, use any large tomato variety such as Roma or beefsteak.
- 3 cups chopped heirloom tomatoes
- 1 serrano chile
- 3 cups cubed seedless watermelon
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes, chile and watermelon until smooth.
Pour in the red wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse to blend.
Add in the onion, cucumber and dill and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pulse once or twice to blend — you want the onion and cucumber to be evenly distributed, without being pureed.
Transfer the soup to a sealed container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to chill before serving.
Pour into chilled soup bowls and sprinkle with dill and feta to garnish. Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2–3 days.
Prosciutto and Melon Caprese Skewers
Balsamic glaze can be found at the grocery store in the same section as the balsamic vinegar.
- 1 cantaloupe
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 1 8-ounce container small mozzarella balls (ciliegine)
- 12 slices prosciutto
- 12 wooden skewers
- Balsamic glaze, for drizzling
Halve the cantaloupe, then scoop out and discard seeds. Remove the outer rind and cut the flesh into 24 small cubes. Alternately, purchase pre-cut melon at the store.
Onto each skewer, thread one piece of cantaloupe, one basil leaf, one mozzarella ball, one folded slice of prosciutto, and a second piece of cantaloupe.
Repeat until you have 12 skewers completed.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to eat, up to 2 days. Just before serving, drizzle with balsamic glaze.