6 of the Simplest Snack-for-Dinner Recipes That Let Me Keep My Stovetop Off
I know that when most people think about these last days of summer, they think of the heat, the sweat, the fatigue. But I simply love this micro-season. In these weeks, it’s socially acceptable — encouraged, even — to be as languid as possible, as if we’re all characters in some Tennesse Williams play who are too exhausted to call for line. It’s also peak season for so much of my favorite produce — stonefruits, tomatoes, berries — that reward recipes that require the laziest “cooking” possible.
These are recipes that use few ingredients, where the “work” is more in using quality food and clever flavor combinations. And if I’m talking about recipes of quality and cleverness, I am most likely talking about cheese. BelGioioso® cheeses are what would happen if an Old World cheesemonger set up shop in your local dairy aisle. They have an artisanal flavor that comes from fresh, local milk and traditional Italian cheesemaking traditions.
Particularly, it’s BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella and Burrata that I reach for this time of year. I know that if I put a tub in my basket and haphazardly buy some peaches or tomatoes, and some arugula or mint, I can make my favorite meal — snacks for dinner — in just a few steps. The creamy fat of the cheeses pairs so well with sweet summer produce with almost no effort. Which frees me up to lie down on my floor in front of my fan.
3 Recipes with Burrata
This recipe is a beautiful representation of this season’s spirit. It requires only five ingredients, and two of them are salt and pepper. Overachievers can toast their own crostini, but my advice is to buy them pre-toasted at the grocery store. My little window A/C unit works hard for me, so I can’t ask it to go head-to-head with my broiler.
This recipe is not as lazy as I like them, but the flavor combination is worth the Herculean task of taking out and using my food processor. The vinaigrette has just enough acid to hold its own against the luscious burrata while the pear slices keep the whole thing from feeling too heavy. The Burrata filling is also great in Bibb lettuce wraps for a similar but less sweet vibe.
I’d say I like these crostini because my sophisticated palate appreciates how the umami of toasted nuts play against the tang of the apple glaze, but really it’s because they have rum. It’s hard not to think of the beach when you eat the rum-soaked raisins. To make a large batch of these with less effort, slice your baguette length-wise, build the toasts, then slice into two-bite pieces.
3 Recipes with Fresh Mozzarella
Salads are sneaky summer recipes because you think that no cooking makes them easy. An hour later when you’re still chopping shallots, you realized you’ve been duped. This is not that salad. You simply scoop out some melon balls, add to some Fresh Mozzarella balls, make the simplest of dressings (a delicate honey vinaigrette), and eat it over your sink. If you’re ambitious, tear up some fresh mint. The result is a hydrating, one-bowl, lazy/fancy meal.
If you’re a better planner than me, this is your snack. You chop some tomatoes that need to marinate for at least an hour. After you wake up from a nap, pile them onto thick-sliced cucumbers and top them with Fresh Mozzarella Pearls. The Champagne Tarragon Vinaigrette is a poster child of how simplicity can become art.
But I am not a planner. The time between “I think I might be getting hungry” to “FOOOOOD” is but a second. The instructions for these four-ingredient, one-bite hors d’oeuvres (that’s French for, “I refuse to wash dishes tonight”) tell you to arrange them on a platter. My hack is to make them one at a time and eat as you go. When you’re done, all you have to do is wash your knife. Or just do it tomorrow when you have more energy.