Foods to Beat the Summer Heat
YIELD: About 2 quarts
TIME: One hour
- 10 large or 20 small precooked (canned or vacuum-packed) beets
- 1 onion, peeled and mostly quartered, root end attached
- 2 ½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
- ¼ cup lemon juice, or to taste
- Chilled boiled potatoes, for serving, optional
- Sour cream or yogurt, for serving
- Using a food processor, pulse beets until finely chopped. Transfer to a large saucepan and add onion, salt and 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) water. Place over high heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until onion is tender, about 40 minutes. Add sugar and lemon juice, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove onion and discard. Pour soup into a heatproof container and allow to cool to room temperature. Adjust salt, sugar and lemon juice to taste. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled, with chilled boiled potatoes added to soup, if desired. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.
1 32-ounce box chicken or vegetable broth
4 to 5 medium red beets
2 medium cucumbers
4 to 5 tablespoons chopped chives or scallions
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Wash beets, then cut off tops, leaving about 1 inch of stems (stops excess bleeding). Cook in pot filled with water for about 1 hour on low. While cooking, chop cucumbers into small pieces (about 1-inch cubes). (You can leave skins on home-grown cukes.) With chives, snip with scissors into small pieces (or cut scallions with knife).
Once beets are done, cool in cold water, then peel off skins by cutting off stems and roots, skin should slip off. Cut beets into small pieces, same as cukes.
Place beets, cukes and chives in serving bowl. Add broth, vinegar, sour cream, salt and pepper. Chill and serve with dollop of additional sour cream if desired.
3 Persian cucumbers
1/2 red bell pepper
1/4 red onion
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 lemon (2 tbsp lemon juice)
2 tbsp olive oil
Chop all ingredients into small cubes (about 1/2–1 centimeter squared) and combine in a salad bowl.
Add juice of lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
- 2 extra large tomatoes
- 1 English cucumber
- ½ medium red onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- ½ C herbs (Italian parsley, mint or cilantro, or a mix)
- zest of one lemon
- Lemon juice (start with ½ a lemon, more to taste)
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Chop the first 6 ingredients into a very small fine dice. The smaller, the better.
- Place in a large bowl and toss with the lemon zest, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper.
1 cup bulghur wheat
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup good olive oil
3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (1 bunch)
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (1 bunch)
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch)
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the bulghur in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; mix well. Season, to taste, and serve or cover and refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large English hothouse cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1/4″ pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Bring quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spread out quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet; let cool. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in 1/4 cup dressing. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover remaining dressing and quinoa separately; chill.
- Add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, and scallions to bowl with quinoa; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over.
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small red onion finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
A few ribs celery and leafy tops, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or grated then grinded into a paste with salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped, a few sprigs
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine chickpeas with onions, peppers, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes and rosemary in a medium bowl. Dress salad with vinegar and oil, salt and pepper.
2 (15-ounce) cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, or a combination of parsley and other herbs, such as chives, tarragon, marjoram, basil, or mint
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 scallions, white and light green parts only, sliced (optional)
6 kalamata olives, pitted and quartered lengthwise
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled
To make the dressing:
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, or sherry vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced or put through a press
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and crushed or coarsely ground
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt
- Toss together the salad ingredients. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, cumin seeds, salt, pepper, olive oil and yogurt. Toss with the chickpeas.
Advance preparation: The salad can be assembled several hours before you wish to serve it. Keep in the refrigerator. Leftovers are good the next day.
Yield: Serves four as a main dish, six as a side
1/2 large chilled seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
Jumbo Seedless Watermelon
1 small red onion, sliced
1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup minced fresh mint leaves
2 limes, juiced
1 (4 ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Gently toss watermelon, onion, basil, cilantro, mint, lime juice, feta cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and black pepper together in a large bowl.
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cup minced shallots (1 large)
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1/8 th seedless watermelon, rind removed, and cut in 1-inch cubes
12 ounces good feta cheese, 1/2-inch diced
1 cup (4 ounces) whole fresh mint leaves, julienned
Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion. If not using within an hour, store the vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator.
Place the arugula, watermelon, feta, and mint in a large bowl. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well. Taste for seasonings and serve immediately.
large tomatoes, ideally heirloom varieties, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup feta cheese, torn into large crumbles
- Combine the cubed tomatoes and watermelon in a large, nonreactive bowl and toss gently to combine. Add salt and let stand 5 to 10 minutes while you prepare the dressing.
- Whisk together the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the cheese to the tomatoes and watermelon, then the dressing, and toss gently to combine.
Time: 30-60 min
- 2 garlic cloves (not peeled)
- 1 large red pepper
- 2 medium eggplants
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
- kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
- sliced cucumbers
- carrot sticks
- celery sticks
- grilled pita
Kalamata olives (pitted)
Lower the oven rack to the middle rack and preheat the oven to broil.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place garlic cloves in an individual foil packet. Place the red pepper, eggplants and garlic on the foil-lined baking sheet and place in oven, rotating the red pepper and eggplants every 10 minutes until charred on all sides.
Remove from foil and place the vegetables in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes. Using a paper towel, peel away the charred skin from the eggplant and peppers and discard. Remove the stem and seeds from the red pepper and discard. Remove the garlic cloves from peels.
In the bowl of a food processor, add the red pepper, eggplants, garlic, tahini, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, olive oil, zest and juice of a lemon, and season with Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.
Remove to bowl. Serve with carrot sticks, radishes, cucumber and grilled pita.
Tips: - For classic baba ghanoush, simply substitute the pepper with more eggplant! - For a similar smoky flavor, grill the eggplant instead of broiling!
YIELD about 1 ½ cups
TIME 25 minutes
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 plum tomato, diced
- 1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- ½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Black pepper, to taste
- Capers, for garnish, optional
Grilled pita bread, for serving
- Heat grill to medium high. Prick the eggplant all over with a fork, put in on the grill and close the cover; cook, turning occasionally, until eggplant is very soft and skin is blistered, about 15 minutes.
- When cool enough, scoop out the insides of the eggplant and coarsely chop. Transfer to a bowl and toss with tomatoes, vinegar, salt, oregano and garlic. Stir in oil and parsley; season with pepper and more salt if needed. Garnish with capers if you like them. Serve with warm pita bread.