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Hot Summer Recipes to Stay Cool

Summer conjures up many images: sunshine, beach vacations, lawn sprinklers, and hot, hot days. Summer is also the time when delicious fruits and vegetables are in season, from Carolina peaches to our very own Hanover tomatoes. In our last blog post, we talked about the importance of staying hydrated, but water isn’t the only way to keep cool and beat the heat.

Below are a few tasty recipes from Brandermill Woods. Not only will these recipes refresh you on a scorching afternoon, but they also pack a nutrient punch thanks to garden-fresh ingredients. We invite you to try some of these next time you’re scrounging around for a project in the kitchen.

Watermelon, Mint and Feta Salad

Enjoy the perfect blend of sweet and salty with this watery cool lunch:

1 watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup mint leaves, rolled and chopped

1.5 cups crumbled feta cheese

Dressing:

½ cup lime juice (2 limes)

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp salt

¾ tsp pepper

Combine the watermelon, mint and feta in a bowl or colander (to drain the excess juice). Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.

Panzanella Salad

This bread salad is refreshing and packed with vegetable goodness.

Loaf of day-old bread (French bread or boule)

2 tablespoons olive oil

3-4 medium tomatoes

1-2 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange)

1 cucumber

½ red onion

10-12 basil leaves, chopped

¼ cup balsamic or red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Mozzarella (shredded)

Chop the bread into bite-sized pieces and toss with the olive oil. Lay it out on a baking sheet and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes, until golden. While the bread is baking, chop or slice the tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and onion into 1-inch chunks. Toss the bread and vegetables together in a bowl with the vinaigrette. If desired, add salt, pepper, and sliced mozzarella to season the salad.

Chips and Homemade Guacamole

Everyone in the family will enjoy this savory snack.

Chips (we recommend multi-grain Tostitos)

3 avocados

½ cup cilantro

½ white onion

1 jalapeño

1 clove garlic

Juice from 1-2 limes

¼ tsp salt

In a food processor, finely chop the cilantro, onion, jalapeño and garlic. In a bowl, mash the avocado until it is creamy. Add salt and lime and stir. Add extra lime juice if you need to make the mixture creamier. Stir in the cilantro mixture (you might not need all of the mixture; give it a taste after adding a few spoonfuls). Enjoy!