Friday, July 22, 2011

What To "Cook" For Dinner When It's Freakin' 100°?

There's a rule in my house. When it's hotter than hades, the oven stays off. Grilling only or cold meals will suffice, thank you very much. Since we are enjoying a prolonged heat wave in the Boston area right now, I thought I would share my favorite cold dinner.....gazpacho! It's the quintessential summer meal.

I use a modified version of the Moosewood Cookbook recipe.



4 c. cold tomato juice
1 small, well minced onion (I use Vidalia sweet onion)
2 c. diced tomatoes (I like multi-colored cherry tomatoes for their sweetness and color)
1 c. minced yellow or orange pepper
1 diced cucumber
2 chopped scallions
juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 lime
2 T wine vinegar
1 t. honey
1 clove garlic crushed (I sometimes skip this)
dash of cumin
dash of tabasco
2 T good quality olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
several handfuls of chopped fresh herbs: basil (I use sweet, purple, lemon and Thai), tarragon, dill, cilantro, chives, parsley, lemon balm, etc.

Combine all ingredients and chill for at least 2 hours. I love this soup because it's chunky!

Top with home-made bruschetta or croutons if you'd like. I also often top with low-fat sour cream and fresh herbs and Johnny Jump-Up flowers on top....yum!

For a delicious bruschetta to serve with this gazpacho, take a loaf of country peasant bread and slice into 1" slices. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place on a hot grill and grill both sides, being careful not the burn the bread (it will grill quickly!). Remove bread from grill, and spread with goat cheese. Sprinkle the tops with a mixture of finely chopped herbs (dill, cilantro, basil, chives, lemon balm, etc). Drizzle again with a bit of olive oil and S/P, then serve with the soup.

Stay cool!


Debbie McCune *Notebook to Novel* said...

That looks delicious! Maybe it's because for once the sun is out in NI...

Unknown said...

No ovens in my house either! It's too hot. This looks delicious.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Sounds perfect for a hot day. I was just thinking about gazpacho and Sangria.

Penny Watson said...

It is delicious, Debbie. Try it!

Hi Amber....oh's over 100! Ack!

Hi Julia! Gazpacho and sagria sounds lovely. I'll be over for dinner soon!

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

This looks great! I am going to have to try it-because it really is too hot to cook anything

Penny Watson said...

A Buckeye Girl Reads....It is a terrific recipe...perfect for hot, sweltering summer days! And it gets better the next day when the flavors have time to "marinate" a bit more. Yum!

Amber said...

That looks delicious! I might have to make some for me, since the kids will never eat it. Bland-palette-ville is a very annoying place to live.

Penny Watson said...

Hi Amber! My daughter eats a peanut butter sandwich every night for dinner. It drives me nuts. She makes gagging noises if I force her to eat something new and different!!!!