Forget the fancy china and formal dining room — summer is the time for a more relaxed style of dining, preferably out-of-doors. In this sun-kissed season of long days spent by the sea, most of us don’t want to dress up ourselves, much less a dinner table. So drop the pretense and invite your loved ones to partake in fresh, delicious food presented in a simple, straightforward way. The obvious attire is come-as-you-are; sandy feet and salty hair are welcome. Whether you’re planning to host a Fourth of July backyard barbecue or a potluck picnic at the beach, we’ve got you covered with two new no-fuss recipes and easy, breezy entertaining tips. After all, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Since peach season peaks in July and August, now is the perfect time to indulge in this juicy stone fruit. In addition to being downright delicious, peaches have a variety of health benefits. They contain phosphorus, a mineral that can help strengthen bones and aid in the prevention of osteoporosis. Peaches also contain the antioxidants zinc and vitamin C, which can help strengthen the immune system. An added bonus: Zinc has been shown to have anti- aging properties. Eating peaches can also help protect the nervous system, with some studies suggesting they have properties that decrease or delay neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration.
Peaches are high in dietary fiber and low in carbohydrates, a combination that keeps you feeling fuller longer and minimizes fat storage in the body. The juicy, sweet, tender flesh of a peach is the perfect starting point for any summer recipe, and its flavor truly stands out in simply prepared dishes.
Heirloom Tomato, Peach and Burrata Caprese
SERVINGS: 4 (as a side dish)
When selecting your heirloom tomatoes, try for a variety of colors. Choose peaches that are very ripe. The balsamic glaze on top is optional but highly recommended; it can be found in most grocery stores next to the balsamic vinegar.
- 2 large peaches, pitted and sliced (skin on)
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced (or 1 pint baby heirlooms)
- Flesh of 1 avocado, sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Coarse sea salt to taste
- One 8-ounce ball of burrata cheese, patted dry and cut into pieces
- Handful of fresh basil, torn
- 1/4 cup shelled and chopped pistachios
- Drizzle of balsamic glaze (optional)
- Cracked pepper to taste
On a large serving platter, distribute the peaches and tomatoes, mixing them together, in a single layer. Top with sliced avocado, then drizzle olive oil evenly over the top and sprinkle generously with salt. Next, lay the pieces of burrata on top, distributing them evenly across the platter. Sprinkle the basil and pistachios on top of the salad, then add a drizzle of balsamic glaze just before serving. Top with cracked pepper to taste.