Summertime in Virginia is no joke. We've had a brief respite from the heat the past few days, but it's just the calm before the storm; August is just around the corner with its guaranteed high temps and oppressive humidity. No matter which state you're spending your summer, this season is most likely a time when you want to keep things cool in the kitchen. These no-cook recipes will do just that. And if you're like me, you could make a meal out of them; I much prefer some lighter nibbles during the summer months than a big, heavy, complicated menu. Pair them with a cool glass of crisp white wine or maybe something bubbly and you've got a recipe for the perfect summer soirée!
1. Tapas Plate
I am wild for tapas. These traditional small plates hail from Spain, and are typically served with drinks and plenty of casual, friendly conversation. They have taken over the foodie scene, and for good reason: they are perfect for those indecisive diners (like me) who want to order everything! And this selection from Real Simple requires no cooking and just a few minutes of assembling. Perfect. Click here for the full recipe: Tapas Plate with Marinated Chickpeas
2. Prosciutto Wrapped Figs with Blue Cheese
Salty and sweet is one of life's greatest and most delicious combinations, and this no-cook treat is a flawless representation of that. Prosciutto and figs is a classic Italian pairing - here, Michael Chiarello gives an added kick with some tangy blue cheese. Feel free to leave the cheese out if you don't love it. Click here for the full recipe: Prosciutto Wrapped Figs with Blue Cheese
3. Scallop Crudo
This gorgeous dish from Bon Appetit is for the slightly more adventurous diner. "Crudo" is an Italian term typically used to describe a raw seafood dish, but this variation gives it a salty, sour, spicy, Southeast Asian spin. If you are a fan of sushi, give this recipe a try and impress all of your foodie friends! Click here for the full recipe: Scallop Crudo
4. White Cheddar-Chive Pimiento Cheese Spread
Cheese. That is all. Combine a few simple ingredients, stir, and serve to a crowd (or just to yourself). You can't go wrong with this modern twist on a classic Southern favorite. Click here for the full recipe: White Cheddar-Chive Pimiento Cheese Spread
5. Mango Peach Sangria
And finally, something to wash all of those delicious, no-cook, no-fuss bites down! This refreshing sangria is Chef John Besh's answer to a steamy New Orleans night, and no matter where you sip it, it's sure to cool you down and add some sparkle to your evening. I especially love the high/low combination of familiar peaches with exotic mangoes. Click here for the crowd-pleasing recipe: Mango Peach Sangria
I hope you love this list. I promise you won't miss the stove or oven, but you will have much more time to nibble, sip, and chat with your friends and loved ones with these recipes on your plate!