From no-cook to low-cook: A recipe roundup for supper in the summer
How to savour summer without spending it in the kitchen
This article was originally published August 1, 2018.
It's super hot out there. And although this is the weather we spent the winter daydreaming about, it can be a little overwhelming, especially when deciding what to make for dinner. The seasonal produce abounds and the days still seem long when we leave the office, but that doesn't mean we want to spend hours in the kitchen to enjoy a satisfying summertime meal. Plus, it's just too hot to fuss! So to help you beat the heat and make the most of this delicious season, we've rounded up recipes for low-cook to no-cook dishes. Here's how to plan meals just right for right now, whether for your al fresco feasts or simply to keep cool and relaxed this summer....
Let someone else do the cooking for you!
Those rotisserie chickens at your local grocer make for dinner in a flash, and a lot less heat in the house. Chop up some chicken and add it on salads, rice bowls, and in sandwiches for a speedy supper that's still substantial. We're particularly enamoured with this option:
Those summertime sandwiches
Quick and easy, sandwiches are the ultimate summer supper — we're looking at you, lobster rolls! The sandwich is an artful creation — a compilation of our fave ingredients stuffed between some delicious carbs. Plus they're often portable and packable so you can take them to your patio, or to any and all beach and park hangs this season. These are sure to please:
Take it outside
And by that we mean cook outdoors. Keep your house from heating up and fire up that grill as much as possible if you've got one. Everyone needs a burger or two this season, BBQ-ing is synonymous with summer, so we've also listed some quintessential eats for this season. And while you're at it, may we suggest taking that seafood boil outside, too?
Yes, we're suggesting shucking a few oysters, but we're also talking about veggies. If you're looking for a little something more than a giant salad, may we suggest a supper of salad rolls, bowls and even a raw pad thai? These dishes are full of flavour and those crunchy, uncooked vegetables feel fresh for when it's absolutely sweltering.
Charcuterie for dinner
More than just a tasty trend, the platter approach to dining is easy-peasy and there's no cooking required. It's a wonderful approach to entertaining a crowd and curating a tasty spread is a perfect excuse to stop by your favourite butcher shop or cheesemonger. Don't forget to add a little crudite from the garden or market; the produce is so good right now, you can basically wash, add it to a platter and serve. Here are some pro tips for plating, ingredients for building the best boards and some excellent accompaniments to make:
Savour all the salads
It's the season of fresh produce and what better way to celebrate than with salads? Local greens just taste better, please grab some from the market if you haven't tried truly fresh lettuce before. We're all for salad as a side, but we adore it as an entrée. The combos are endless; load up a plate of fresh greens, crisp vegetables and whatever you decide to add to the grill and you've got a great meal. So fresh and so satisfying, it may be hard to pick what you're in the mood for, so here are some salads we highly recommend.
Keep it quick
If you're in the mood for cooking, amidst this heat strategy is key. Keep it quick and opt for something that is done in no time and/or requires low prep. We're strong supporters of cooking once and eating twice, so make a double batch to ensure you'll have leftovers. Put the rice cooker to good use, the slow cooker, or whatever you have at your disposal to get you out of that kitchen and onto the patio — or in your air conditioned-living room. Here are some recipes to help make that happen:
Picnic-perfect pastas are where our heads are at these days. These super simple pastas are ready in no time and use up some of those summer herbs. And did we mention they make for lovely leftovers? Carb up, friends!
Make tonight taco night
Whether it calls for a quick saute in the skillet or grilling on the BBQ, taco night is summer done right. Plus, this meal is an excellent opportunity to load up some tortillas with that farmers' market produce you picked up this weekend. Add in a selection of salsas and a great guac, and taco night will be on heavy rotation this season. Here are some of our fave selects:
And don't forget dessert
We're here to tell you that you can still have all the cheesecakes, tarts and trifles without turning on the oven this summer. No-bake treats are perfect to prep in advance and they're simple as can be. We're also in peak peach, cherry and berry season, so sweets are almost required eating in these fruit-filled months.