When the temperatures soar over 100 degrees, the last thing you want to do is turn on your over or stove and heat up the kitchen. By using fresh Arizona produce either from you garden or from the market, you can create beautiful, flavorful meals with no cooking required!
You may not think of Arizona’s climate as particularly great for growing produce, especially in the summer, but there are some plants that do quite well and there are farms at a littler higher elevation that can grow even more local goods. We all know that buying local is both good for the economy and good for clean eating. But what’s ready when?
In July and August watermelon and grapes are in season here in Arizona. Tomatoes, zucchini and squash have little longer life and are in season April – September. Then don’t forget late summer bloomers like radishes (July – October), apples (July – September), short-lived pears (August and September) and black-eyed peas (July through September).
Watermelon is so much more than just a picnic side. It can make a tasty, low-sugar juice (or base for a summer cocktail) and it’s a versatile salad ingredient. Try mixing cubed watermelon with arugula, feta, almonds and cucumber for light, refreshing no-cook side or even lunch. Or make a twist on the traditional fruit salad with watermelon, berries and fresh mint. There are tons of options for both sweet and savory watermelon dishes.
What’s more refreshing and satisfying than crisp, chilled gazpacho in the warm summer? This tomato-based chilled soup can really be a catch all for whatever veggies you have leftover in your refrigerator. Many recipes include zucchini, carrots, celery and peppers with a little hot sauce. Served with crostini, avocado and maybe some cold shrimp, this could be the perfect summer dinner with easy leftovers ready to go.
Instead of relying on the oven, stove or even grill in your Scottsdale golf home, try to work in some fresh Arizona produce and make a no-cook day with local finds. Even if you don’t have a garden there are plenty of farmer’s markets around the area that run year-round. But if you’re looking for that new dream home with room for a garden, the Matheson Team can help!
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255