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Sarasota Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2021 1 year ago

No-cook meals to keep you cool this summer

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Chef Tina Anderson shares her coolest spreads.
by: Nat Kaemmerer Staff Writer

Remember how much you loved chili about five months ago? That warm, thick stew that kept you near the heat of the stove as you cooked? If the idea of standing close to any source of heat makes you feel ill now, in Florida summer, you’re not alone. As the entire house begins to feel like an oven, Longboat Key Chef Tina Anderson shares some meals that will keep you away from any extraneous sources of heat. 

Peach slaw

1 package of rainbow precut slaw or 1 cup each of Napa, red and green cabbage

2 ripe peaches or nectarines

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup toasted almond slivers. For a nut-free version, try dried berries. 

1/2 to 1 cup lemon-maple dressing (or poppyseed dressing)

Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper. Anderson said this flaky salt is a game-changer. Find it at Artisan Cheese Company in Sarasota.

Lemon-Maple Dressing

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Maldon salt and pepper

Thinly slice peaches. Toss slaw mix or cabbage in a bowl with dressing and sliced scallions. Start lighter and add more to taste. A great slaw has a nice crunch but absorbs a bit of the dressing for a good bite. Let sit for about 15 minutes. Right before serving, fold in peaches, salt and pepper, and arrange on plates or in a bowl. Sprinkle nuts on top. Add shredded rotisserie chicken for protein. For the dressing, combine all ingredients, and place in a mason jar. Shake until emulsified. Chill until ready to serve.

Burrata and stone fruit salad. Courtesy photo.

Burrata and stone fruit salad

8 ounces fresh burrata or fresh mozzarella 

1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes

3 or 4 stone fruits (such as plum, nectarine, peach, apricot)

8 fresh basil leaves cut into a chiffonade 

Maldon Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Pistachio-Lemon Vinaigrette

1/2 cup roasted pistachios 

1 lemon, juiced

1 tablespoon honey (preferably local — Anderson uses Myakka Honey)

1 teaspoon sambal (found with Thai seasonings)

1/2 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil

Drain liquid from cheese, slice and center along a platter or on individual plates. Slice tomatoes into long wedges, removing stems and white fiber. Slice stone fruits into thin wedges, and arrange tomatoes and fruit over cheese. Immediately before serving, season with salt, pepper, basil and vinaigrette over top.

For the vinaigrette, chop roasted pistachios, and place in a bowl with the lemon juice, honey and sambal. Whisk in olive oil until well incorporated and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Can be stored for up to three days in the refrigerator. Flavors are the most vibrant when made the same day.

Arugula, Fig and Goat Cheese Salad

1 pound baby arugula, washed. Anderson said to find the brightest green leaves — from a local market is ideal, and there are options at the Sarasota Farmers Market. Anderson uses Homestead Hydro Farms.

6 ounces high quality goat cheese (log, not crumbles, because prepackaged crumbles can lack taste and texture)

8 ounces dried figs cut into quarters. Fresh figs work too, and the fruit comes into season late in the summer. 

1/2 cup chopped Marcona almonds, salted roasted pistachios or toasted almond slivers. For a nut-free version, try toasted chickpeas. 

4 slices prosciutto (optional)

Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper

Arugula, fig and goat cheese salad. Courtesy photo.

Honey Chive Dressing

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

Right before serving, toss arugula in a bowl with 3-4 tablespoons of dressing.  Arrange on individual plates or a platter and arrange fig quarters, dollops of goat cheese and prosciutto on greens.  Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with dressing, and top with chopped nuts. For a heartier salad, add precooked shrimp, shredded rotisserie chicken or confit duck. For the dressing, mix all ingredients in a mason jar, and shake well. Chill until ready to serve. Keeps about a week.

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