Celebrate Summer with These Light and Easy Recipes!

Celebrate Summer with These Light and Easy Recipes!

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Summertime anywhere in America evokes memories of long, hot days, sitting in the shade on a porch or under a large tree eating something cold and sweet.  Chef Judi Leib loves sharing southern recipes of refreshing drinks and easy meals reminiscent of her Georgia roots, but with a southern California flare.

Judi’s love of cooking and recipes is visible throughout her website Whisk in the Southern, sharing new and traditional recipes, a wealth of tips from chef Judi’s years of culinary experience, useful product recommendations, and lessons taught in an accessible and fun way. Judi focuses on an easy-to-understand and accessible style of teaching that anyone can follow.
“I started Whisk in The Southern from my passion for cooking, along with the infusion of my parents’ Georgia roots with my southern California upbringing into the food I make,” says Judi.  “Food has always been a big part of my life. I find cooking to be fun as well as visual.  I want to share that passion with others who love good food.”

This summer, Judi invites you whisk in two fresh and easy recipes that utilize summer fruits and vegetables, perfect for any meal or get-together.

Summer Burrata Salad

The first summer I had a garden, I was looking for ways to show off my bounty. That combined with a day that was exceptionally hot and I didn’t want to cook; and this salad was born. I love it because it can really spotlight whatever summer produce you have. I always make a double or triple batch of the balsamic reduction and keep it on hand.

This may be the easiest recipe you’ve ever made.

Makes 6 appetizer portions or 4 entrée portions:

Balsamic Reduction:

1 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
You can add 2 Tbs. of sugar if you want.


2 cups of Arugula or other slightly spicy/bitter green
1 Large Ball of Burrata Cheese
1 pint of Sweet Cherry Tomatoes. I love the yellow pear-shaped ones.
Salt & Pepper
Balsamic Reduction
To make the reduction, pour the balsamic vinegar into a saucepan. If you are using sugar, add it now, too.
Place over a medium flame and let come to a boil. Then reduce and let it simmer for 8-15 minutes. You are looking for it to reduce by about half. Remember it will continue to thicken as it cools.
Pour into a jar and store up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Place the arugula in a large serving bowl. I like to untangle it with my hands.
Pull your burrata apart and place on top of arugula.
Depending on size of the tomatoes, you can either slice them in half or scatter them whole, over the top of the salad.
Drizzle salad, generously with balsamic reduction, toss and serve with great crusty bread.

 This salad can be served with a crusty baguette. You can add grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp to the salt if you’d like. 

Pro tip: I used ingredients that I grew in my garden. If you have a local farmers market, try to find your ingredients there.

Pair the salad with this refreshing summer drink.

Peach Frosé
This recipe is inspired from a Rick Martinez recipe and I adapted it one day when I really wanted frosé, but didn’t have strawberries and didn’t want to take the time to make a simple syrup. Once I started playing with fruit I had on hand, I realized that the syrup is an extra step, you don’t have to take and summer peaches are fantastic in Frosé. I believe it will taste good together if it smells good together and this works!

Makes 2-4 servings depending on portion and alcohol added.

1 750ml Bottle of Dry Rosé
1-2 Fresh Peaches, sliced
¼ cup Granulated White Sugar
Juice of 2 Lemons
Mint and Fresh Peach slices for garnish
Pour the entire bottle of rose into a 9X13 baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and freeze, at least 6 hours or overnight.
When getting ready to serve:
Place the sugar and peach slices in blender and rough chop.
Scrape frozen rosé into blender
Add fresh lemon juice to blender and blend all together until smooth-ish and well blended.
Pour mixture back into 9X13 baking dish and refreeze for at hour or so.
To serve, scoop frosé into glasses and garnish with fresh mint and peach slices.
Judi Leib is the founder and Chef at Whisk In The Southern.  Judi has done it all in the food business; from attending culinary school to working in kitchens, all the way to becoming general manager of a classic Los Angeles restaurant. In addition to sharing recipes and videos on her website, Judi is frequently asked to conduct cooking classes and demos. In April 2023, Judi launched her Dinner Party series, 4 classes where participants learn how to craft the perfect dinner party experience.  The classes will be held in person and on Zoom. Judi has been featured in numerous newspaper articles.  In 2022, she started Challah and Soul, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the Black and Jewish communities together through food. She co-chairs the organization with Shonda Isom Walkovitz.  Judi lives in northern Los Angeles County with her husband.
All recipes and photos courtesy of Judi Leib/WhiskintheSouthern.com.

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