Beat the Heat with Fruit & Cheese

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Too hot to cook? Summer meals don’t need to be complex – but that’s not a reason why they shouldn’t be delicious! If you need some fresh ideas, it’s really hard to go wrong with cheese and fruit. Don’t know where to begin? I have a few suggestions for interesting combinations.

A good, sharp cheddar isn’t just for pairing with apple pie … a hearty grilled cheese sandwich layered with thinly sliced apple makes this combo a winner. The salty sharpness of the cheese with the bright, fruity sweetness is just the ticket.

I must admit it: I have eaten watermelon for dinner on a hot summer night. But my new favorite combo is watermelon and feta cheese kabobs topped with a basil leaf and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. Satisfying yet light, the salty feta balances the sweetness of the melon and the kabobs are pretty, too.

Pears and Gouda are a fantastic combination for a summer salad – sprinkle on some nuts or sunflower seeds and toss with a vinaigrette for a delicious meal.

If you haven’t been to the store in a while and are out of fresh fruit, jam can be a fine substitute. Brie pairs perfectly with an apricot or fig jam, strawberries and ricotta or raspberries with cream cheese all work beautifully on toast or crostini.

Got the grill going? Fresh peaches are summer supper perfection! Cut peaches in half and remove the stone, brush with olive oil and lay them right on the grill (medium heat) to get some good grill marks. Serve with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese for a decadent and juicy side dish or a light meal.

Want to make something basic and easy? One of the simplest fruit-cheese combos is a slice of fresh pineapple with a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano grated on top. Really!

Experiment, find your favorites and enjoy the simplicity of an easy, fresh and tasty summer meal.

 

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