Cool down with Kelsey Nixon's no-cook recipes for summer

When it's a hot, hazy day the last thing you want to do is turn on the stove. Here, Kelsey Nixon, host of Cooking Channel's "Kelsey's Essentials" shares her no-heat, no-hassle recipes for peach salad, crab tapas and chocolate peanut butter and banana icebox cake.

Peach salad with tomatoes, feta and basil vinaigrette
Servings:

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Basil vinaigrette

    • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup good-quality sherry vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
    • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • Salad

    • 1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped
    • 4 to 5 ripe peaches, sliced into wedges
    • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, for garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

For the dressing: Combine the basil, olive oil, vinegar, honey, Dijon and shallots in a blender until the dressing emulsifies and the basil is pureed. Season with salt and pepper.For the salad: Combine the tomatoes and peaches in a bowl and toss to coat with the dressing. Top with the feta cheese. Serve at room temperature.

Green goddess crab tapas
Servings:

Makes 24 tapas

Ingredients

  • Dressing

    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 1 avocado, chopped
    • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
    • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
    • 2 lemons, zest of 1, juice of both
  • Crostini

    • Pre-made crostini
    • 1 pound Dungeness crab meat, picked for shells (jumbo lump can be substituted)
    • Smoked paprika, for finishing
    • Sea salt, for finishing

Preparation

Baking Directions:

For the dressing: Put the mayonnaise, sour cream, avocado, parsley leaves, chives, tarragon leaves, lemon zest and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth.Spread the dressing, generously, onto the crostini, and then top with a nice pile of crab and sprinkle with some smoked paprika and sea salt.

Chocolate peanut butter and banana icebox cake
Servings:

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
    • 2 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • Two 9-ounce packages chocolate wafer cookies
    • 5 bananas, sliced, plus more for garnish

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, whisk together the peanut butter and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream until light and fluffy, and then set aside. Make sure the whipping attachments are clean, and then whip the remaining 2 cups cream with the sugar and vanilla until slightly stiff peaks form. Gently fold some of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture to lighten it up. Then add the peanut butter mixture back into the whipped cream in three parts, gently folding until combined, trying to keep it light and fluffy, and then set aside. In a 9-inch springform pan, arrange a layer of cookies (about 16) overlapping in a circle, covering the entire surface. Spread a layer of whipped cream over the cookies, making sure all the cookies are covered, and top with banana slices. Repeat with the remaining cookies, whipped cream and banana slices, making 5 layers total and finishing with a layer of whipped cream on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

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