I am so excited for summer weather – especially the longer days, sunny days by the pool, family vacations and the occasional afternoon thunderstorms.
What I’m NOT excited for is the stifling Georgia heat. Cooking in the summer can be such a pain, especially when the meal involves using the oven and the stovetop. It can really suck the joy out of entertaining friends. Especially when it’s 97 degrees outside, the oven’s at 350 and you’re standing over a hot stovetop.
Luckily, there are all kinds of roundups for summer entertaining menus. There’s The Ultimate Summer Menu Guide from Bon Appétit, from Buzzfeed I recommend 29 Pasta Salads To Chill Out With This Summer and 60 Things You Absolutely Have To Do This Summer (a summer bucket list, for sure), Stuff You Should Probably Definitely Make This Summer from How Sweet It Is, and finally, an oldie but a goodie: Summer Cocktails! The Full Roundup from The Kitchn.
The key is limiting your use of the stove and oven, which heat up your kitchen and ultimately, you. Once I get hot, especially when I’m getting ready for people to come over, there’s literally no recovering. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.
This recipe is a tried and true appetizer for guests. Make ahead, never use a heating element, and you won’t have to worry about leftovers. I originally had these at Leon’s Full Service in Decatur. They’re a little spicy, a little sweet, and the creamy goat cheese is literally like happiness in your mouth.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadews (serves 4)
- 12 peppadew peppers (get them from the olive bar at your grocery store!)
- 4 oz chevre (or your usual goat cheese)
- fresh basil
- olive oil, salt
Using a butter knife, icing spatula, or just your fingers, fill each pepper with goat cheese. Place them in whatever you’re using to serve them – they’re always cute in jars or little bowls. (This can be done a day ahead of time; store the prepared peppadews in the fridge.) When you’re ready to serve, cut basil into thin strips – chiffonade, y’all – then sprinkle over the peppers. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little coarse salt.
Happy summer cooking!