Sometimes, hot weather can really put you off your food – especially if you’re planning on tucking into a hot stew or a burger and fries. The hot weather not only makes you feel like eating something cooler and lighter but can also sap all your energy, leaving you exhausted and unable to cook a large meal. So, at NetCost Market, we thought we’d put together a few go-to recipes for when those really hot evenings that sap all your energy and make you crave something cool and light!
Caprese salad is a classic Italian salad, and you can tell it’s Italian because it features all the colors of the national flag! It’s simple, healthy, and very satisfying on those hot evenings when you just want to sit outside and watch the world go by.
Ingredients: 1 lb. mixed cherry tomatoes – halved, 7 tbsp. good-quality olive oil, coarse sea salt, 2 lbs. mixed medium to large heirloom and beef tomatoes (or the best quality you can get), 8 ounces of buffalo mozzarella, coarse black pepper, basil leaves, fresh Italian bread (for serving).
How to make:
- Toss the cherry tomatoes in 1 tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt.
- On a platter, arrange the tomato slices with each slightly overlapping the last – it doesn’t need to be perfect; it should look rustic!
- Arrange the mozzarella over the tomatoes and season with salt.
- Spoon the cherry tomatoes onto the salad, and then drizzle the remaining olive oil onto the arranged salad.
- Let the salad rest at room temperature for 30 minutes – cover if necessary.
- Sprinkle with basil leaves and then serve with classic Italian bread!
Middle Eastern Chopped Salad
When the weather gets as hot as the Middle East, why not go the whole 9 yards and have some Middle Eastern cuisine too?! These middle eastern salad pita breads make a brilliantly easy and light meal that’s great if you have a few friends over for drinks on an unbearably hot evening!
Ingredients: [For the salad] 1 small romaine lettuce – chopped, 1 can chickpeas – drained and rinsed, 1 tomato – diced, 1 cucumber – diced, ½ small red onion – diced, ¾ cup chopped black olives, ¾ cup crumbled feta, 2 tbsp. fresh dill – chopped, pita breads for serving. [For the dressing] ¼ cup olive oil, 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar, ½ tsp. dried Italian herbs, ½ tsp. salt, ¼ black pepper.
How to make:
- Add dressing ingredients to a large bowl and mix together until well combined.
- Add the chopped salad ingredients to the bowl and stir everything together thoroughly.
- Spoon the chopped salad mixture into the pita breads and enjoy!
Chicken Salad Summer Rolls with Herby Mayonnaise Dip
Summer rolls are classic lunchtime food in South East Asia, and this recipe fuses the light simplicity of this Asian dish with the much-loved American chicken salad. It’s brilliant for making in advance and then keeping in the refrigerator or taking to work as a light lunch.
Ingredients: [For the rolls] summer roll rice paper wrappers, classic chicken salad – either homemade or your favorite shop-bought version, a mixture of: sprouts, shredded lettuce, and shredded spinach. [For the herby mayonnaise dip] ½ cup mayonnaise, a handful of fresh dill leaves, a handful of fresh chives, juice of ½ lemon, pinch salt.
How to make:
- Put the mayonnaise in a wide-mouthed jar and squeeze in the lemon juice. Use a blender to blend together the mixture or simply whisk until smooth and well-mixed.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large shallow bowl, fill about 2/3 of the way with cold water. Dip a rice paper in (one at a time) for about 8 seconds – it should start to soften. Place the soaked rice paper on a flat surface and then arrange a small amount of chopped greens in a line through the center. Top with about ¼ cup of chicken salad and arrange in a line.
- Roll up the chicken salad and tuck the two ends in as you do so, ensuring it’s all nice and snug.
- Repeat this with each of the rolls, until you have as many as desired.
- To serve, simply place the herby dip in a small dipping ramekin, and cut each of the summer rolls in half to display the impressive insides.
When it’s too hot to cook, don’t cook! There are plenty of great mouthwatering recipes out there even for the hottest weather! If you’re looking to add some no-cook meals to your summer cooking repertoire, head down to NetCost Market and you’ll find the freshest summer ingredients going!