In today's post, I share a few of my favorite summer-time recipes that are quick to make, don't heat up the kitchen too badly (or at all), and are great on a hot day.
Whatever you decide to eat, the best dessert is ice cream! I'm a huge fan of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream from Ohio. She just published a cookbook of her most popular flavors - in case you're feeling ambitious and want to make your own. Stay cool!
Cold Cucumber Soup
When your cucumber vines are overflowing, this versatile and easy soup is a great way to use them up. Get creative and experiment with the ingredients to get the flavor profile you prefer. I've provided some suggested options below.
recipe serves 4
2 medium to large cucumbers - peeled, seeded, and course-chopped
2 cups of plain yogurt
Mint or dill - depending on which flavor you prefer
optional - 1/2 cup of either buttermilk or sour cream depending on which flavor you prefer
optional - scallions, chives, or sweet onion (finely chopped) - reserve a bit for garnish
Salt and pepper
Put the chopped cucumbers and the mint or dill (and scallions/chives/onion if you're using that) in a blender and puree. In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream (if using either), and the salt and pepper. Mix well. Fold in the cucumber puree being careful not to overwork the mixture. Chill for about an hour. Serve cold with some chives/scallions/diced onion or a mint/dill sprig as a garnish. Pairs nicely with a heavier salad, like potato or macaroni.
Cold Tuna Salad
recipe serves a lot
1 large can of white (albacore) tuna packed in water
1 box of elbow noodles
1 medium to large red onion (vidalia will work as well) diced finely
Salt and pepper
(optional: some fresh, uncooked sweet peas are a nice addition if you have them)
Cook the box of macaroni until al dente (usually about 15 minutes - follow the box directions). Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Let the macaroni stand in the colander for a minute to drain off as much water as possible. Transfer macaroni to a bowl. Drain the tuna and stir into the macaroni. Stir in the chopped red onion. Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away. After storing leftovers in the refrigerator, you may find that you need to refresh the dish with a little more mayonnaise before serving.
recipe serves 6
2-3 cups of large-diced tomatoes (use any fleshy variety, including cherry tomatoes!)
1 cup of medium diced fresh mozzarella cheese (you can also use those little marble-sized balls and not even cut them up)
10 leaves of basil - chiffonaded (rolled up and cut into very thin strips)
A large bunch of arugula
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Set aside. Mix the tomatoes, cheese, and basil together. Cover with the dressing. Serve the tomato mixture on top of a bed of arugula.