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Beat the Heat With Simple Dishes | Manolo's Food Blog

Beat the Heat With Simple Dishes

These are the symptoms of heat prostration. As the summer goes on, we’ll feel more and more like the poor dude in that illustration. And yet we will still need to provide food for ourselves and our families and friends.

The good news is that this is also the time of year when you can easily make flavorful dishes without a lot of standing over a hot stove (or barbeque). The even better news is that I’m here to give you simple instructions for two such dishes.

First up is a ridiculously good tomato salad. Start with some heirloom tomatoes. Really, you can use nearly any kind of tomato so long as you don’t try to make this with those flavorless grocery store beefsteak tomatoes, but heirlooms as close to straight off the vine as possible are ideal because they taste delicious and look cool with their variegated coloring and funky shapes.

Anyway, take however many tomatoes you have on hand or think you’ll need to feed the people you’re feeding (yeah, this is more in the lines of an old-style receipt than a modern carefully measured recipe) and cut them into large bite-sized chunks.

Finely chop up a hearty amount of fresh herbs. You can use any herb you think will go nicely with tomatoes, or even a combination if you have them handy. I’ve done this with: cilantro, basil, and dill. All of them were scrummy good. Sprinkle the herbs over the tomato chunks, salt and pepper to taste, add a small glug of olive oil, and toss to combine. Then just drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the top and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Of course, you may be in more of a soup mood. Or you may want soup and salad together. That’s cool… and so is my infamous Dill Pickle Soup.

This may be the most ridiculously simple soup in the world, but it’s also one of the best going.

For each diner, take one medium cucumber (the absolute best you can get, because this recipe lives and dies by the quality of your cukes), one heaping soup spoon of plain yogurt, fresh dill to taste, and a very generous amount of salt. Peel the cucumbers and cut into large chunks. Place in food processor or blender. Add the yogurt, dill, and salt. Turn on the processor and process until everything is liquid. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Trust me, this is like eating liquid dill pickles, but each bite ends with an amazing whoosh of fresh cucumber at the end.

To complete the meal, just add rotisserie chicken and a loaf of crusty bread. This is more than good enough for company, too.

In fact, I had a dinner guest last night and fed her both. Happy, happy guest.

2 Responses to “Beat the Heat With Simple Dishes”

  1. raincoaster July 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    Huh. Gin + Tonic always works for me. And hey, it’s good for ya!

  2. Twistie July 6, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    I fear that gin and I are not the best of friends, so I must content myself with cucumbers.

    Make of that what you will.