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Beat-the-Heat Strategies for Summer Cooking

PB Fluff and Stuff from Ample Hills Creamery by Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna, photo by Lucy Schaeffer

PB Fluff and Stuff from Ample Hills Creamery by Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna, photo by Lucy Schaeffer

A few tips for keeping cool in the kitchen

With temperatures soaring we've got just what you need to satisfy your hunger (and keep your oven off) during this sweltering heat. Here’s our guide to our favorite beat-the-heat strategies: explore salads, make the most of your ice box, get grilling, and plug in your slow-cooker.

Explore salads

Enjoy raw or lightly cooked summer vegetables with a little bit of pre planning—always have a great salad dressing ready to go. Make a batch in a recycled jar or bottle to take the work out of rustling up a last minute salad or use it to dress leftover blanched and grilled vegetables such as steamed leeks or grilled asparagus for a summery side dish.

Add some interest to your salads with new flavors. Look to the Italians and follow the principles of agrodolce pairing sweet and sour elements: pair summer’s ripe melon with salty Prosciutto, tear off chunks of buffalo mozzarella or creamy burrata to pair with some ripe nectarines or peaches, or try big wedges of sliced of watermelon with salty feta crumbled over the top.

Books on salads: Salads by Peter Gordon, Salmagundi by Sally Butcher and The Side Dish Handbook by Tori Ritchie

Get Grilling

Keep your kitchen cool by cooking al fresco on the grill. Prep your food the evening before, marinating meats and veggies overnight. All you’ll need is a quick flash on the barbecue to finish your dish.

Books on barbecue: Floyd on Fire by Keith Floyd, The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen and Peace, Love & Barbecue by Mike Mills and Amy Mills Tunnicliffe

Make the most of your ice box

Ice cream, gelato and granita offer the perfect antidote to the oppressive heat. Churn your own and keep your freezer stocked with a wide array of these icy delights.

Books on ice cream and frozen desserts: Ample Hills Creamery by Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna, Frozen Desserts by Francisco Migoya and Vegan Desserts by Hannah Kaminsky

Plug in your slow-cooker

Harness the gentle heat of your slow-cooker to transform raw ingredients into a craveable feast, all while keeping your oven off.

Books on slow-cooking: Slow Cook Modern by Liana Krisoff and Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook by Phyllis Pellman Good

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