In the middle of a hot summer evening, the last thing I want to do is fire up my oven or hover over my stove. Often when the temperatures soar, I opt for a dinner of chilled salads and other nibbly bites.
Caprese salad is classic summer fare. I prefer to put a California twist on my version of Caprese by adding in a sliced avocado to the usual tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella and basil. Drizzle the salad with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and grind a little fresh pepper and sea salt on top.
Poached and chilled asparagus, a pasta salad and some seasonal fruits round out the dinner.
Be sure to choose a loaf of artisan bread at your market, you'll assuredly want to soak up all that extra olive oil with a crusty wedge of ciabatta or baguette.
So, pull together some of your favorite chilled summer salads, pour yourself a nice glass of vino and dine al fresco. Enjoy those summer nights!
Photos by moi. Dinner last night & Arles, France 2003.