When hunger pangs hit, there’s no need to turn on the oven. Open the refrigerator, let the cold air blast your face and reach for chilled items to build not cook, your next bite. These no-heat snacks will make you happy when it’s over 100 degrees outside. Or even, you know, 109.
Take these recipe ideas to construct a cold or room-temperature snack. And if you linger in front of an open fridge while grazing for ingredients, I get that. All I do these days is imagine someplace cooler.
Sugared peaches and cream: Place peeled peach slices into a bowl. Top with a smidge of sugar. Stir to coat. Pour cream over the peaches until barely covered. Place into the fridge and let sit for 30 minutes (if you have the patience). Top with your favorite torn green herb, like mint or basil. If a boozy version is preferred, swap the cream with sparkling dry wine.
Pesto Crudite: In a food processor, combine an ample amount of basil leaves, two to three heaping spoonfuls of grated parmesan, a small handful of pine nuts (feel free to omit) and a pinch of salt. Lock the lid and start blitzing. Once the ingredients are broken down, slowly pour in olive oil while the food processor is still running. Pour until the pesto is at a desirable consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding additional salt or parm. Serve the pesto with a variety of chilled raw vegetables and cold boiled eggs.
Nutella Fluffer Graham Crackers: Spread a generous amount of Nutella onto graham crackers. Top with marshmallow fluff and your favorite accoutrements: chopped nuts, sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, etc.
Cold Chicken Pita Sandwich: Rough chop a cup or two of cold rotisserie chicken. Place the chicken into a bowl with a few spoonfuls of chopped kalamata olives, a pinch of red pepper flakes, a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of olive oil. Stir until combined. Stuff the mixture into a pita along with a tomato and onion slice. Drizzle plain yogurt on top with a squeeze of lemon juice. Salt to taste.
Prosciutto and Melons: Wrap cold prosciutto slices around slices of cold melon. Top with a splash of olive oil and fresh basil leaves. Serve with cold burrata or mozzarella.
Tomato Sandwich: On a cutting board, cut the ripest tomatoes you can find into thick slices. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and a splash of red wine vinegar; let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Smear an excessive amount of delicious mayonnaise onto thick slices of white bread and add the tomatoes. Eat immediately.
Watermelon Tajin Salad: In a bowl, place cold watermelon chunks with chopped fresh mint leaves and a sprinkling of Tajin. Stir and add fresh lime juice, to taste.
Tomato and Ricotta Salad
Author’s note: I love summer fresh tomatoes served with burrata, olive oil and balsamic. This recipe removes the burrata and uses ricotta, which has a similar flavor and texture to the filling of burrata. Serve this salad with crusty bread and a glass of chianti.
4 cups halved cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup ricotta
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/4 to 1/3 cup basil leaves, chiffonade
In a serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, ricotta, balsamic, salt, pepper and basil. Stir thoroughly. Place into the fridge to chill. Serve cold with crusty bread.
Author’s note: This recipe is easily doubled. However, instead of doubling the salt, season to taste after the dip is made. Chopped (cooked) and chilled shrimp along with pickled red onions are perfect toppings to this dip.
3 cups of diced avocado
Juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup sour cream
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Cilantro, to the top
Place the avocado, lime juice, cumin, salt, sour cream and garlic cloves into a medium bowl. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Top with chopped cilantro. Serve with chips.