meal ideas for a hot summer
If you make gazpacho it's hard not to end up with half a gallon of it and it keeps for a week or ten days in the refrigerator. I make a low calorie version: coarsely chop 4 peeled tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 1 green pepper, and 1 medium onion in Cuisinart, add to a big 46-oz can tomato juice, season with olive oil and vinegar, also garlic powder, salt, cumin, and a dash of hot red pepper. Keep tasting until you get it right. Eat it ice cold. A Spanish friend nearly had a heart attack when I told her how I make gazpacho---totally not authentic, no soaked bread, nada, but we like it and except for a couple of tablespoons of olive oil this version is almost calorie-free.
thanks for the input and great answers.
now i have to work around the family preferences (i eat anything, but meals mandate no clams, avocado, non-scrambled eggs, cilantro, white beans, cottage cheese, olives,...)
maybe i'll just make for me and everyone else can have ham sandwiches or something.
these meals you guys suggested are just too good (and easy) to pass up.
MKBK....vermicelli with white clam sauce...re-discovered it tonight after not making it for about a billion years....AWWWW...so good! and so easy....the only thing that heated up the kitchen here in SWFL was heating up the garlic bread...only 10 minutes. But truly...one can of chopped clams, fresh garlic, olive oil, some white wine and fresh parsley, all on the stovetop in about 15 minutes...my son flipped! Serve it with some sauteed spinach or dark green leafy salad and you have a HOME RUN!
My classic "aw, but I don't want to heat the house up!" dinner this time of year is sliced tomatoes, cottage cheese, and beer. If I'm feeling ambitious I might make an egg and tomato sandwich.
What about steamed veggies (or grilled ones from the salad bar at your local supermarket?) tossed with homemade pesto? Pesto potato salad is pretty wicked too.
White bean dip (cannellinis blended with red wine vinegar, garlic, rosemary, s&p, olive oil, chile flakes) with raw veggies and crusty bread, plus a bottle of vino... that's a darn good dinner.
You could do the faux-french-type dinner -- cheese and bread, preserves or pate, olives, radishes and butter, and again, wine. Yum.
blanched or raw veggies with dips--I like tonnato sauce and green beans. I'll throw in a hb egg to round it out. Sliced homegrown tomatoes with tonnato are also wonderful.
Asian wraps--I use rice paper rounds and fill with veggies, sliced cold beef, shrimp or chicken. If you use lots of peanut sauce, cilantro,basil and/or mint, anything tastes good in a wrap. Or just use lettuce leaves as your wrapper.
pasta salads--I make one with tuna, tapenade, celery and yogurt that is very cool and refreshing.
cold soups. I pretty much stick to gazpacho (Steingarten's recipe) or a cucumber
A little late in the season now, but few things are as nice a big strawberry shortcake for dinner. I make the biscuits in the morning, so everything is cooled off by evening.
Elizabeth David's Summer Food has a lot of good ideas.
re: Karl S
Take a look at Bittman's 101 salads and meals for summer. A lot of them you might have made before, but there is a ton of variety.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/18/dining/18mini.html - summer meals
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage... - summer salads
We've been doing a lot of sandwiches and veggie salads - green beans washed, slightly microwaved and then tossed with a creamy vinegarette has been a keeper.
Cannellini beans and chopped onions mixed with vinaigrette and topped with good Italian tuna, with cherry tomatoes -- could also add artichoke hearts and/or olives.
Black bean salad with mangoes, avovaco, tomatoes, scallions, jalapenos.
Devilled eggs (only need to have the stove on long enough to bring the water to a boil, then let eggs sit covered for 10 minutes).