MY SUMMER KITCHEN ESSENTIALS
The heat is on.
The summer months have arrived and who exactly wants to cook when temperatures reach high in the 90's? Just like winter kitchen essentials, summer has its own list of essentials too and Im here to help you stay fabulous in the kitchen and beat the heat with these essential items.
A Rich Olive Oil - In the summer we tend to eat lighter, so drowning our fabulous summer veggies in a heavy sauce is out of the question. An amazingly rich and flavorful olive oil is perfect for the summer months because you can do just about any and everything with it including dunking grilled bread in it, making a quick vinaigrette for a fab farmers market salad, and marinating some steaks in it for your barbecue.
Tomatoes - I wait all year for summer tomatoes and when they arrive, I stock up. During the summer months tomatoes are the best thing to keep in your home. Whether cherry, beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, any kind of tomato you desire can make an assortment of meals. Hand crush them for a quick light tomato sauce, slice them really thick and serve them with fresh burrata, or toss is a cold summer salad.
Related: Tomato & Watermelon Salad
Burrata - Burrata is the sexier cousin to mozzarella cheese and you will find it all over restaurant menus during the summer months. Its soft on the outside and oozing with a soft milky and creamy center. Its super mild in flavor so it pairs with a variety of things, but makes a great and super quick dinner when you add some tomatoes and basil.
Flaked Salt - Salt is a great addition and also an essential when it comes to cooking. Normally we use regular fine or course salt to season a variety of things but summer calls for a different salt. Flaked salt is perfect in the summer as the large salt crystals help accentuate the flavors of your food rather than season your food. I love to keep flaked sea salt and course pink Himalayan salt around during the summer as its great crushed on fresh watermelon, sliced ripe tomatoes and cracked on top of fresh summer gazpacho.
Popsicle's - A couple of years ago we started keeping a box of popsicles in the freezer at all times and it changed our lives for the better. On those days when you literally cant keep cool and the nights where its 90 degrees at 11pm grabbing a popsicle out of the freezer in your favorite flavors will keep you sane. They also make great additions to cocktails when your girls come over for brunch on the weekend.
Related: Quick Summer Moscato cocktails
Seasonal Fruit & Veggies - shopping at your local farmers market during the summer is the best way to make summer meals and make your coin stretch. You can try a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables as the summer pans out so no day will be the same. Use fruit as dinner too and vegetables such as rainbow carrots as a light weeknight meal.
1 Protein That You LOVE - I say love because turning on the oven in the summer does not happen as much as it does in the winter. Keeping that one protein that you love in the fridge helps when all you want to do is have a quick salad to beat the heat. Your protein of choice should be able to withstand a variety of cooking methods and preparations due to the rising summer temperature. Think chicken/steak/salmon that can be sautéed or grilled.
What are your favorite summer kitchen must haves?