Summer salads help you keep cool in the kitchen

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- When it's this hot outside, no one wants to turn on the oven and cook. So summer salads make a great alternative.

On Wednesday's Good Morning Arizona, Chef Sydney Dye from the First Fig Kitchen gave Kaley O'Kelley some tips on whipping up some delicious summer salads.

Dye suggests using fresh peaches to make a light and healthy salad. She also adds a twist: tomatoes. "This combination of tomatoes and peaches is not something you would expect," she says. "But it's a great flavor combination: the acidity of the tomatoes with the sweetness of the peach."

She also adds some red onion, goat or feta cheese, and a light dressing.

This recipe is featured in this month's edition of Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine.

Fresh mint can also be a nice addition to summer salads. And Chef Dye says it's very easy to find right now.

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1/2 medium red onion, sliced paper thin
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 pound ripe peaches, pitted and cut into wedges
1/4 pound heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 cup goat or Feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons fresh herbs (include some basil, flat leaf parsley and mint), finely chopped

3 tablespoons reserved
red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon local honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon each)

COMBINE onion slices and red wine vinegar in a small bowl; set aside to soak while preparing the salad (5-10 minutes).

ADD peaches, tomatoes and crumbled cheese in a shallow serving dish.

REMOVE onion slices from vinegar; reserve vinegar.

SPRINKLE onions over salad.
PLACE 3 tablespoons of reserved red wine vinegar, along with honey, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl to make dressing; whisk to combine.

SPOON dressing over salad and garnish with chopped fresh herbs.