Cool off a sultry summer with a "cold" dish, like this simple zucchini "pasta" with avocado and fresh cherry tomatoes. Photo by: anayaseats.com
July 25, 2018 10:25:18 AM
There is a time for steaming bowls of hearty stew and savory chili. This is not it.
It's summertime and, back-to-school sales aside, we've got plenty of swelter still ahead of us, especially in Mississippi, where air conditioners may run into October.
In these dog days of summer, we turn to cool, no-cook dinners that are light and refreshing. They can start with a quick trip to the nearest farmers market. The only way to get fresher veggies and fruits is to grow them yourself in the back yard. Pick up some just-picked zucchini and tomatoes for the zucchini pasta recipe below. Or purchase new sweet corn to make the chilled corn soup.
The "pasta" from Anya Kaats at anyaseats.com is actually spiralized zucchini.
"One of my favorite kitchen appliances is my spiralizer," she posted. "I mostly spiralize zucchini as a pasta alternative, but you can also use sweet potato, carrots, beets -- the options are endless." Because there are few ingredients, each flavor can be appreciated, Kaats said. "You will be amazed at how tasty just a few ingredients can be."
The smooth, creamy corn soup from wildgreensandsardines.com can be pulled together in about 20 minutes, then chilled in the fridge. The salad, or garnish, that accompanies it adds summer color and flavors. You can finish it off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lime.
Other choices can include a cold chicken and noodle salad, or BLT spring rolls (traditionalcookingschool.com), or pineapple chicken salad pitas (myrecipes.com) -- all solutions for when you need a cold dish for a hot summer day.
ZUCCHINI PASTA WITH PESTO, TOMATOES AND AVOCADO
2 or 3 large zucchinis (preferably organic), spiralized
1 carton cherry tomatoes (preferably organic), sliced in half
1 avocado, cut in half and sliced
1 batch of dairy-free toasted walnut pesto
CHILLED CORN SOUP
3 tablespoons butter and/or olive oil
1 leek, cleaned well and chopped
2 small shallots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
6 ears of non-GMO corn (5 cups plus a bit extra for garnish)
4 cups vegetable stock (more if needed)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Squeeze of lime
Cherry tomatoes, quartered
Corn kernels, raw
Smoked mussels (or smoked fish, such as hot smoked salmon)
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
COLD SESAME CHICKEN AND NOODLE SALAD
Serves 6 to 8
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh peeled ginger
2 tablespoons white or red miso paste
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
8 ounces dried wide rice noodles
2 cups finely shredded red cabbage
1/2 medium English cucumber, julienned
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, divided
2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), sliced into 1/4-inch thick strips
4 medium scallions, green part only, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Notes: The dressing can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. The salad can be prepared and assembled up to 4 hours in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until serving. Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.