7 Recipes to Eat During REALLY Hot Weather

Chow on 06.10.11
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Image Credit: Burchell/Hulton Archive/Getty Images - English girls with their punnets of strawberries

It has been exceptionally hot here for the beginning of June, and my husband just told me that it is 99F in New York City as I write this. It's pretty close to that here too, in Toronto. I must admit that after a day working in the garden, trying to get all of my vegetables planted (I know, I know, I'm really late), all I want to do is lie down and drink gin and tonics and the thought of making dinner is almost ridiculous.

The trick is to cook early in the day and eat cold meals, or else eat raw foods, so that you won't be working in the kitchen as you wilt with the heat of the day. I suppose for some of you this is a moot point because you have air conditioning, but lots of us don't, and managing cooking times becomes important.

1. Strawberry Yogurt Soup: Although Lilia has been eating strawberries in North Carolina since the end of April, they have just come to our market this week. This is a first course soup that could double for dessert.

2. Strawberry and Spinach Salad: Years ago this was a very fashionable thing to eat in restaurants, then it fell out of fashion, as things do. But it is actually a really nice, refreshing salad, and you might be able to get some of your fussier eaters to give it a try.

Image Credit: Emma Alter

3. Asparagus Namul: I was not sure about raw foods when I made this earlier in the week, but boy, this recipe convinced me that raw asparagus is a pretty delicious thing. It makes a very attractive side dish too.

4. Soba Noodle Salad: This instantly became one of my favourite summer dishes when friends of ours brought it to our cottage years ago. I make it several times a year now, and it is always a huge hit. Don't be alarmed at the long ingredient list, it is really easy to make, and I think a fabulous dish, especially for entertaining.

Image Credit: Emma Alter

5. White Bean Salad with Radish: I love white bean salads, and they always seem to be such a cooling thing to eat. I often pair white beans with tuna, which is a classic Italian dish, but this is a vegetarian version.

6. Cucumber Avocado Soup: Personally, I think, other than cold watermelon, there isn't any food that is more refreshing in the heat than cucumber. Maybe it's the high water content, I don't know, but I always find it cooling. This is a very easy, non-cook recipe that will cool you down in no time at all.

Image Credit: Emma Alter

7. Riso Primavera: I made this recipe last week for a dinner party and it went over extemely well. I would have added asparagus and fiddleheads to it as well, but I had them in other salads, so I pretty much stuck to the recipe. Feel free to add any vegetables that you think would work here.

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