As we enter the dog days of summer, we have to work a little harder to focus on the positive. I try to think of the humidity as "steamy," and as good for my pores as a sauna. But I tend to hold a grudge for what it does to my hair, per below. It's much easier to focus on all the delicious produce that's in season!

 

Just as I hoard pomegranates in the winter, I hold watermelon close to my heart this time of year. As I do my basil from the garden (Thai and sweet), cantaloupes and yellow fuzzy peaches. We can incorporate these seasonal delights into dishes you can only enjoy this time of year. 

Below are some easy (as in zero cooking) ways to make it taste like summer. And the measurements are entirely up to you!

Watermelon Feta Salad (in season: watermelon)

Toss cubed watermelon, crumbled feta, mint leaves, and arugula in a bowl. Drizzle with lime juice, olive oil and sprinkle on some salt. Toss once more, and you've created a Mediterranean delicacy! Extra points if the salad is served in bowls of halved mini watermelons. 

Prosciutto & Melon (in season: melon)

It's that simple - take paper thin slices of prosciutto and wrap them around cantaloupe or a gala melon. Behold the addictive mix of sweet and salty!

 

Peachy Basil Salad (in season: peaches & basil)

Toss peach slices, basil leaves, mini mozzarella balls, and torn romaine in a bowl. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, olive oil and dust with salt. Toss once more and prepare for greatness; it's tangy, sweet and acidic all at once.

The below photo isn't a recipe, but a friendly reminder to load up on fresh herbs, which are either exploding in your garden or at an all-time-low price at your local farmer's market, as they are in abundance. Eat fresh herbs as long as you can, until we're back to the dried or frozen variety come wintertime. We grill a lot of fish in the summer, and happily discovered there's no such thing as too much cilantro or wood sorrel!

 

 Almost Guacamole Salad (in season: tomatoes)

Toss avocado slices, tomato slices, chopped purple onion, cilantro leaves and chopped jalapeno in a bowl. Drizzle with lemon, olive oil and dust with salt. Toss once more and you have a fresh salad that's like guacamole, without the chips!  With large chunks, your fork can do the heavy lifting.

Many people tend to take the safe route with salads, but why be boring? Innovate with a mix of fruits and vegetables. The flavor combinations are endless...unlike summer. You'll miss it when it's gone, so savor the flavor while you can. 

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