WE’RE HAVING A HEAT WAVE – IT’S TOO HOT TO COOK! THESE RECIPES WILL KEEP YOU OUT OF A HOT KITCHEN. PART Iby Hampton Rhodes

WE’RE HAVING A HEAT WAVE – IT’S TOO HOT TO COOK! THESE RECIPES WILL KEEP YOU OUT OF A HOT KITCHEN. PART I

heatwaveWhen it’s in the high 90s outside, who wants to be stuck in a hot kitchen cooking dinner? No one! I’ve found some great summer recipes from thedailymeal.com that allow you to prepare a great, tasty and nutritious dinner without cooking. Take a look and see if they appeal to you, too. Better yet – try them out! Easy peasy. But I have to tell you – the avocado and cucumber soup is a MUST – for the temperature as well as the taste! And we’ll have a new batch next week, so you won’t have to repeat – but you’ll want to!

1.caprese-salad-holly-cleggCaprese Salad

Make this classic Italian salad by layering fresh basil with slices of fresh mozzarella and tomato. Either drizzle basil pesto sauce (YUM!!) on top or just add a classic garnish of extra-virgin olive oil and full-bodied balsamic vinegar. Serve this with fresh crusty bread with a soft center so you can sop up the leftover juices.

Ingredients:
2 Cups sliced tomatoes or Roma tomatoes
3 Ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
3 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Directions:

In a shallow bowl or plate, layer or arrange the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Coat with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.

2.promo_cheeseandcharcuterieshutterstock_240728551Antipasto Plate

This is a wonderful way to enjoy a cool and light meal, and it couldn’t be easier. Pick a few of your favorite cheese and cured meats, track down some excellent, crusty bread, and add other accoutrements like marinated kalamata olives, honey, fig preserves or apricot jams. Dine alfresco if it’s not too hot outside, but if it is try in front of your AC unit. Complement with a chilled glass of white wine or a light, but not too dry red wine to complete your meal.

What you see here:
Fresh sliced Figs and Cantaloupe
Breadstick wrapped in Proscuitto
Brie or Camembert Cheese
Sliced Italian Salami, pancetta or sopressata
Crusty French baguette bread
Kalamata olives.

3.golden blossom honey.avocado_cucumbersoupCold Avocado and Cucumber Soup

Cold, creamy, and full of fresh vegetables, this velvety soup is perfect for a hot summer night. Avocado’s good fats make the soup filling, and the cucumber adds a light and magical summery touch. Try serving it with a crusty, multi-grain baguette, and for this meal, you want a chilled white wine.

Ingredients:
4 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and quartered
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 Cups buttermilk
3/4 Cups chicken broth
2 Tablespoons honey, preferably Golden Blossom
1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 scallions, chopped, for garnish
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped, for garnish

Directions:

Place all of the ingredients except for the garnish in a blender. Process until puréed and smooth. If the soup is too thick, thin with more broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Spoon into bowls, garnish with chopped scallions and tomatoes. How easy is that??!!

6. PanzanellaPanzanella

Panzanella is a Tuscan tomato and bread salad that is loaded with fresh summer flavors. This version has some celery added for a bit of crunch, and lemon zest and mint for a refreshing punch to your palate.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Pound tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
3 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and sliced
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 Cup good olive oil
2 Tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Cups 3/4-inch cubed stale, crusty French or Italian bread
Handful of basil, torn, for garnish
Small handful of mint leaves, torn, for garnish

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes and their juices, celery, onions, garlic, lemon zest, oil, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, and then toss together. Add the bread, basil, and mint and gently toss together.

If the bread is moistened through and there’s a small amount of liquid pooling at the bottom of the bowl, no water is needed. If the salad looks dry, sprinkle some drops of water over the top, gently toss, and repeat if needed. Check the seasonings. The salad is best served within a few hours, not allowing the bread to get soggy.

These 4 recommended dishes require very little (and most with no) cooking. Sure, there’s a little bit of prep involved. But who doesn’t enjoy a cool beverage and great conversation while in the kitchen. Heck, it’s where your guests hang out anyway!

wine alfrescoEnjoy! And let us know in the comments section what you think of these recipes and if you need more summer recipes – we’ve got loads of ‘em!

 


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