It's been unbelievably hot here the past few days—in the 90s! Thankfully it does cool off a little at night and stays cool for a few hours in the morning so I can get some work done early. After that it's too hot to move. Eating is always a problem when it's really hot. Who wants to add more heat to the air by using the stove or oven? And who want to eat something heavy? I've been turning lately to salads.
Over the weekend I made a nicoise salad with baby green beans from the garden. I've been making this salad for years and have lost track of where I got the recipe, so apologies to whoever the original belongs to. There's some prep work and use of the stove involved but you can do that ahead of time.
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (1 tsp. dried)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 large head Boston lettuce
1 pound small new potatoes
1 pound fresh green beans
3 hard-cooked eggs
1 medium red onion
2 medium tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
Two 7-ounce cans water-pack tuna
1/2 cup pitted ripe olives
1) In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, salt, mustard, and pepper. Shake vigorously and refrigerate.
2) Wash lettuce; remove core and drain well. Separate into leaves.
3) Scrub unpared potatoes. Place in a medium saucepan, add boiling water to cover and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to boiling and boil gently, covered, for 20 minutes. Drain, cool and peel, then slice 1/4-inch thick. Turn into shallow dish.
4) Trim ends and wash beans. Cook whole in boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and cool 10 minutes. Turn into dish with potatoes. Add 1/2 cup dressing and toss until well coated. Refrigerate, covered.
5) Peel and quarter eggs. Slice onion thinly. Wash and cut each tomato into six wedges. Wash pepper, halve and remove seeds, and cut into 1-inch strips. Drain tuna; with fork break into chunks.
6) Arrange lettuce in a shallow bowl. Arrange eggs, onion, tomato, pepper, and tuna over lettuce and chill until ready to serve. (I hate really cold salads so I let it warm up a bit on the counter). Just before serving, spoon on the beans and sliced potatoes and drizzle the whole thing with the remaining dressing. (6)
If you want something easier (and quicker), throw together an asian noodle salad with some shredded leftover chicken, chopped veggies (I like carrot, red pepper, scallions, and cucumber), chopped herbs (Thai basil and cilantro—also from my garden), some noodles (linguine fini is good), and some bottled Thai peanut sauce. Mix it all together in a bowl and chill for a little bit in the fridge. Easy peasy! This would be fine without chicken or with the addition of some tofu for a vegetarian version.
So, what do you like to eat when it's too hot to eat?