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favorite cooling summer foods

With the weather turning hot lately, I've been trying to avoid using the oven as much as possible. That means I've been making lots of cold sesame noodles, gazpacho, and cold sandwiches.

What are some of your favorite summer dishes? Any suggestions?

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  1. Cucumbers are the first that come to mind for a 'cooling' food...I live in SW Florida...so I do NOT want to be turning on the oven for any reason...makes my poor a/c go C-R-A-Z-Y!!!!! And takes a long time to cool down too! I have been using my crockpot (Indonesian chicken) and pressure cooker (short ribs with garlic and port) lately. Do you have a crockpot? Saves time and energy, that's for sure! Depending on your tastes, you can cook some pasta and throw on some broccoli and nuts for a topping...there are so many options out there for cool summer dinners!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Val

      I don't have a crockpot, but your pasta suggestion sounds like a great idea. What do you dress the pasta with?

    2. Tomato/peach gazpacho (with red onions, tarragon and raspberry vinaigrette). Sliced cucumbers with onions and sour cream. Tomato aspic made from heirloom tomatoes. Vichyssoise (sp?) made from potatoes and leeks sourced at a farm. Cold cream of asparagus soup. Cold poached salmon with horseradish/dill cream sauce.

      Our go-to summer drink: Vanilla vodka, placed in a chilled beer mug with no ice, and ginger ale -- stuff tastes just like cream soda -- it's dangerous!

      1. My absolute favourite is Thai green mango salad. So colourful and festive and delightfully refreshing if prepared well!

        5 Replies
        1. re: vorpal

          mmm, i like green papaya salad. a big batch lasts me a few days.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Do you have a nice recipe for this Thai salad? I have never had it, but just know I would love it.

            1. re: chef chicklet

              http://www.thaitable.com/Thai/recipes...

              is pretty close, but i used shrimp paste instead of dried shrimp, used some tamarind juice and a generous heap of thai bird chilies. it gets hotter the longer it sits,so be forewarned. too much fish sauce or shrimp paste makes it unappealingly brownish, though.

              this is definitely a wing it kind of dish once you make it a few times. i've also got a local market that sells the green papaya already shredded, which is awesome.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                Oh thank you!! Everytime I see this salad made on a cooking program, my mouth is watering. I haven't seen green papaya let alone prepared in my local markets, but no biggy, I'll take a trip to Oakland. Thanks for mentioning the dried vs the shrimp paste. I have the dried but have heard the paste is what to use.
                I've never seen a recipe that includes green beans, are they blanched or raw?
                And the tamarind, just soak it in warm water and strain right?
                Sounds delicious, I can't wait to make this! Thanks!

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  i didn't have any green beans so didn't put them in. i did have jicama, so added that and some carrots for even more crunch. i found tamarind concentrate which suits my laziness better than the paste. :) dress to taset for sure, there are alot of variations for this.

                  i got everything at a southeast asian market -- not a regular grocer.

        2. Thick sliced tomatoes, s&p, balsamic vinaigrette and crumbled Stilton. I need some now!

          1. Popsicles, or for the adults in the crowd, frozen soufflees!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Phurstluv

              Mmm-on the same note- I love making Granita- time consuming for sure- but you can mix up the flavors so much...my favorite one was a take that we did a few months ago on a blood orange and black pepper, but pomegranate, blueberry, raspberry....all different kinds out there- soooo tasty-and even possibly good for you :-)