Summer means long days filled with outdoor activities and impromptu weekend gatherings. So when the temperature rises, keep the cooking time to a minimum and the kitchen cool with our favorite no-cook summer recipes.
In Season: Popular for centuries in Spain and Italy, blood oranges are now being cultivated in the United States. Look for blood oranges in specialty supermarkets from November through May. What to Look For: Blood oranges are somewhat smaller than navel oranges, and often have pitted skin mottled with hints of red; the interior flesh is deep crimson. The flavor is sweeter and less tart than other oranges, and may have hints of raspberry or a slightly bitter edge. Choose firm, plump oranges that are heavy for their size. How to Store: Blood oranges will keep at room temperature for several days, kept in a bowl or basket where air can circulate freely. To store oranges for up to two weeks, put them in an airtight bag or container and place them in the produce drawer of the refrigerator.
In Season: Peak season for tangerines lasts from October to April. They are occasionally available during the rest of the year but are best enjoyed in season.What to Look For: A good tangerine is firm or slightly soft, and feels heavy for its size. Choose tangerines with smooth, bright-orange, unblemished skin.How to Store: Tangerines will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
In Season: Flavorful, slightly bitter escarole thrives in cool weather. It grows from fall through winter, and can be found year-round in most supermarkets. What to Look For: A head of escarole looks like curly lettuce and can be as small as a softball or as large as a soccer ball. Choose firmly packed heads with unblemished leaves. How to Store: Wrap escarole in paper towels and store in an unsealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to four days.
In Season: Radicchio's peak season lasts from January to April, although most specialty grocers carry it year-round.What to Look For: This member of the chicory family comes in several varieties, with two types being most widely available in the United States: Treviso and Verona. Treviso leaves are oblong with pointed ends and grow in small, tightly packed heads. Verona radicchio grows in loosely packed round heads similar in shape to butter lettuce. Both varieties have purple leaves with white ribs. Choose radicchio with crisp leaves and no brown spots. How to Store: Keep radicchio in a tightly sealed bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.
In Season: Grapefruit-growing season lasts from October through May. Grapefruit keeps well in cold storage, so it can be found in supermarkets year-round.What to Look For: Grapefruit comes in white, pink, and red varieties. Pink and red grapefruit gets their rosy blush from lycopene, the same antioxidant found in tomatoes. Choose fruit that's heavy for its size, with smooth, rather than bumpy skin; these are good indicators that the grapefruit will be juicy.How to Store: Grapefruit will keep at room temperature for a week when stored in a bowl or basket with good air circulation. Kept in an airtight bag in the refrigerator's crisper drawer, it can be stored for up to two months.
In Season: Kale turns sweeter in cold weather, so it's at its best from mid-fall through early spring.What to Look For: Choose kale with firm, deep-green leaves, avoiding any that are wilted or have yellow spots. How to Store: Keep kale in the coldest part of your refrigerator, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag. Though it seems like a sturdy vegetable, kale will quickly wilt and turn bitter.
Transform plain cooked chicken into a fresh and lively salad perfect for a picnic, brown-bag lunch, elegant luncheon, or light dinner. Find recipes for chicken salad sandwiches with the sweet crunch of grapes and celery, Asian chicken salads with sweet soy or cilantro dressing, curried chicken salads in light yogurt dressing, chicken Caesar and Cobb salads, and many more.