‘No-Cook’ August Dinner Board

The pinnacle of summer produce is here and there is nothing better!

The flavors and freshness are as long as the August days and the ease of preparation that it lends itself to, is just the icing on the cake. It’s the perfect month to embrace some ‘no-cooking’ cooking. Please meet the ‘dinner board’.

Dinner boards are great for so many reasons.  

First and foremost, they bring everyone together around one single board (or sheet pan or whatever you have that is large enough for your family) for an engaging and interactive meal.  

They’re also completely flexible in that you really can add to it what you like. I highly recommend a mix of fruits and vegetables that are so plentiful right now, some cured meats or fish if you like, some sauces or spreads (buying them is ok if that’s what time allows), and a loaf of bread so good you just can’t stop eating it. This board that I present to you is just one combination of ingredients – ingredients that my family loves. You should always feel free to adjust it to suit your family’s tastes.

And lastly, nothing needs to be cooked. NOTHING. Just fresh goodness. Easy for you and delicious for the family.  That’s a win-win if I’ve ever heard one!

August ‘No-Cook’ Dinner Board

Serves 6


2 zucchini

1 clove garlic

2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

3+ heirloom tomatoes, varied sizes

2 c. cherries, pitted

3 peaches or nectarines

3 plums

1 bunch basil, divided (some for pesto, some for garnishing board)

1 bunch mint, divided (some for pesto, some for garnishing board)

1 burrata

Prosciutto, capaccola, salami, or any cured meat or fish of your choice 

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Kosher salt or flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 loaf of good quality bread of your choice, thickly sliced

Homemade Pesto (or store-bought)

2 c. basil leaves

1 c. mint

3 Tbsp. pine nuts

1 clove garlic

1 c. extra virgin olive oil

½ c. Parmigiano-Reggiano


1 c. whole milk ricotta

Zest of 1 lemon

1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt or flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Prepare the zucchini.  Using a vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini lengthwise into long ribbons and place in a bowl. Add a couple of pinches of salt and toss the zucchini well and make sure it’s well distributed. Set it aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, drain any liquid that has accumulated and add one clove of finely chopped garlic and the white wine vinegar – toss to coat and set aside to marinate.
  2. Prepare the fruit.  Slice the tomatoes. Halve the peaches and plums, remove the pits, and slice into wedges.  Pit the cherries and set all the fruit aside.
  3. Make the ricotta.  In a bowl, add the ricotta, lemon zest, olive oil and a large pinch of salt and pepper, and combine well.
  4. Make the pesto.  In the bowl of a food processor, add the basil, mint, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper and pulse until finely chopped, but not a paste.  With the motor running, add the olive oil until well combined.  Pour the pesto into a small bowl and stir in the parmigiano.
  5. Put the board together.  Grab the largest cutting board you’ve got – or a sheet pan(s) – and place your bowl of ricotta, pesto and balls of burrata spaced out, but near the center of the board. Cut the burrata in half and open it up so it can be scooped.  Create layers and piles of tomatoes, zucchini ribbons, peaches, plums, cherries, cured meats or fish and bread.  rizzle everything with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Tuck in remaining basil and mint leaves around the board.
  6. How to eat? However you like!  Grab a slice of bread and schmear it with burrata and pesto and top with tomatoes, zucchini and prosciutto – YUM!  Grab another slice and schmear it with ricotta, mint and basil leaves and peaches, plums and cherries – also YUM!  So many combinations to try – be creative! ENJOY!


  • No time to make pesto?  Buy it!  There’s no shame in this.  Just look for a good quality fresh one in a refrigerated section.
  • Can’t find burrata?  Fresh mozzarella would be a great substitute.
  • Don’t want to bother with the ricotta?  No problem – just buy more burrata.  Easy fix!
  • Don’t have white wine vinegar?  Use red wine vinegar if you have it – or even balsamic.
  • Vegetarian?  Just leave out the cured meat and double down on the veggies and fruit.
  • Vegan?  Easy to choose dairy-free alternatives these days!

Hello, I’m Natalie!  I’m a professionally-trained chef, culinary instructor and recipe developer living in Ann Arbor.  A career change, a trip through culinary school 20 years ago, and being a lifelong Julia Child enthusiast has led me to a career doing my very favorite thing:  making food and cooking approachable to home cooks of all ages!   

My passion for creating great food experiences and getting people excited about learning and having fun in the kitchen is always at the heart of what I do.  You can find me at NatalieMarbleCooks.com.  And on social media you can find me at @NatalieMarbleCooks.  Sign up for my bi-weekly email newsletter here, where I share family-friendly recipes, tips & tricks, new class information, and hopefully a little inspiration!