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9 no-cook summer recipes for when it’s just too way hot out

9 no-cook summer recipes for when it’s just too way hot out

From the What's for dinner? Open-faced pizza burgers and more nostalgic comfort food series
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Watermelon and cheese salad

Watermelon salad

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- On an idealistic hot summer day, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven and get stuck cooking in your kitchen for hours.

When the weather is nice in Northeast Ohio, we need to cherish it, so that’s why it’s important to have a few no-cook recipes up your sleeve to enjoy dinner on the patio as soon as possible.

We’ve come up with 9 no-cook recipes you can try when it’s just too hot outside. With minimal effort but bold, fresh flavors, your family will be dining on something delicious in no-time. And the best part is there’s no need to sacrifice any time spent enjoying the summer rays.

1. Panzanella salad

Even salad haters can’t resist a panzanella, which is basically a bread salad. This recipe is full of herbs, and feel free to add whatever you have in your fridge or garden that makes sense, like parsley, rosemary and more. It’s a filling main course, or a perfect side dish to bring to a party.

  • 1 loaf of fresh bread (Italian, ciabatta, sourdough, etc.)
  • 2 tomatoes (heirloom, roma, etc.), ripe
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper, any color
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 pack of small mozzarella balls (or one big one cup up in bite-sized pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes to taste

OK now if you want, you can cut up the bread into bite sized cubes, arrange on a baking tray, coat with olive oil and broil in the oven until it’s toasted. But if you’re super averse to the oven, you can slice the bread and toast it on a grill, in a toaster or a toaster oven. Then, cut it up into cubes with a sharp bread knife. Place in a bowl and coat with olive oil.

Cut up tomatoes into pieces that are a similar size to the toasted bread cubes. Slice the cucumber, bell pepper and red onion thinly, or dice up into bite-size pieces. Place in the bowl with bread.

Cut up the herbs and add to taste into the bowl. Add mozzarella balls. Mix with olive oil, red wine vinegar/lemon juice, and seasonings to taste.

Honesty, you can eat it right away if you want, but it’s best if it sits for about an hour. Serve in bowls.

2. Spicy scallop ceviche

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on fresh scallops, try to make this ceviche. It tastes like the beach, and the bright, bold flavors come together in 15 minutes or less. This is a pretty basic ceviche recipe, but the ingredients work for a reason.

  • ½ pound of fresh scallops
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 medium-size tomatoes, or a cup of cherry tomatoes
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • \u00bd jalapeno, remove the seeds for a less spicy dish
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dice up scallops into fours.

Dice up avocado, green pepper and tomatoes into similar sizes of the scallops. Slice red onion and jalapeno thinly. Mix with scallops.

Add lime juice, orange juice and salt and pepper to the bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Minch cilantro and mix in when serving.

3. Elevated egg salad

There’s absolutely nothing refreshing about dry egg salad with too much mayonnaise. However, with a few tweaks, you can transform the dish into something that actually does due-diligence to its ingredients. Feel free to customize this with what you have, and serve on toast, crackers or vegetables.

  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise or veganaise
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • ½ lemon, or white vinegar
  • Capers
  • Chilli crisp, optional
  • Arugula
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder

Leave your eggs in boiling for 7 minutes. Take out and immediately put in a bowl filled with ice water.

Whip together mayo, mustard, lemon/vinegar and seasonings. Finely cut up capers and mix in with mayo. Add a little bit of juice from the jar or capers.

Put your eggs on your bread, pita, crackers, etc. Lightly top with dressing, chili crisp and arugula.

4. Watermelon feta salad

Try to amp-up your regular fruit salad by making it the main course! This refreshing salad comes together in a matter of minutes, and it’s an easy way to bring something new to the table. You can also replace the watermelon with peaches or cantaloupe and it will taste just as delicious.

  • 1 large watermelon, chilled
  • 1 cucumber
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 bunch of mint leaves
  • 1 ½ cups of crumbled feta
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • ½ cup of raw shelled sunflower seeds
  • Salt and pepper

Dice up watermelon into cubes a bit larger than bite-sized. Thinly slice the cucumber and red onion. Coarsely chop mint. Mix together and season lightly with salt.

In a bowl, mix together lime juice, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil.

Lightly dress the salad in a large bowl. Mix in feta crumbles and sunflower seeds.

5. Thai-inspired veggie peanut wraps

While sandwiches are probably the most popular handheld beach snack, don’t underestimate the flavors you can pack into a wrap. These are crunchy and packed with vegetables that are amazing with the peanut dressing. If you’re taking these on-the-go, leave the dressing on the side to keep the wraps crunchy.

  • 4 whole-wheat wraps
  • 3 cups of mixed shredded cabbage (red and green)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 cup carrots
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey, agave or pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of neutral oil (canola, vegetable, sunflower, etc.)
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder

Shred carrots, thinly slice scallions and coarsely chop cilantro. Mix in a bowl with shredded cabbage

Place peanuts between two cutting boards and hit with a rolling pin wrapped in a towel. Or coarsely chop with a knife. Mix in with vegetables and toss with rice wine vinegar.

In a small bowl, mix together peanut butter, lime juice, honey and soy sauce. Gently whisk in both oils.

Flatten wraps and place vegetable mix in the middle. Roll up and dip in dressing.

6. Greek-inspired orzo salad

This is the freshest pasta salad ever that strays away from the typical flavors. The orzo makes it extremely light and fresh, and you can easily double this recipe to make a large portion for a picnic. Feel free to add in whatever vegetables you have in your fridge.

  • 1 16-oz package of orzo
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 bell pepper, any color
  • 1 pack of feta cheese
  • 1 small can of black olives
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

Cook orzo according to package and let it cool completely while preparing vegetables.

Dice up cucumber and pepper. Thinly slice red onion and dice tomatoes and olives in half. Mix with orzo

Add in feta cheese and mix. Lightly toss everything in olive oil, lemon and seasonings. Coarsely chop dill and mix in as well.

Chill before serving.

7. Everything smoked salmon rice bowls

This recipe echoes the flavors of sushi, but there’s no rolling included. It’s also a great way to use up whatever is going bad in your fridge. Feel free to sub salmon for smoked trout, doctored-up canned tuna or imitation crab.

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 2 tablespoons of unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 package of smoked salmon
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 cups of radishes
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 scallions
  • Sesame seeds or Everything But The Bagel seasoning
  • Seaweed sheets
  • ½ cup toasted sesame oil
  • ½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • ½ lime
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • Salt, pepper, sugar, garlic powder
  • Neutral oil (vegetable, canola, etc.)

Put oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Rinse your rice and dry before adding to hot oil. Lightly toast for 30 seconds before adding 2 cups of water. Let summer until fluffy

In the meantime, dice up cucumber and avocados. Thinly slice radishes and scallions.

Also, mix up your dressing. Combine \u00bd cup rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, salt, pepper, lime and tahini in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in sesame oil until well combined.

When your rice is cooked, mix in two tablespoons of rice vinegar, a bit of salt and a bit of sugar, maybe \u00be teaspoon of each.

Place rice in bowls and top with smoked salmon, vegetables, and dressing. Top with seaweed and sesame seeds.

8. Chickpea veggie salad with lemon pepper dressing

This salad is hearty and refreshing, and makes a perfect side dish for nearly any barbecue. Make sure to season all components well so the salad is flavorful.

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 can lima beans, drained
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • ½ jalapeno
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 lemons lemon
  • 1 pack of small mozzarella balls (or one big one cup up in bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Combine all the beans in a large bowl.

Dice up cucumber, avocado, bell peppers and jalapeno. Slice onion, dice tomatoes in half and coarsely chop herbs. Combine with beans.

Mince two cloves of garlic and add to a small bowl. Add juice from lemons, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil until combined.

Season vegetables with salt and pepper and toss in cheese. Dress entire salad and serve.

9. Garlic tomato toast with capers

Toast for dinner can be the most satisfying thing, especially when the tomatoes are perfectly in season and you can try out this recipe. Some people prefer to swap mayo for butter, and you can also adjust this version to make a sandwich for something more mobile.

  • ½ loaf of good bread (sourdough, Italian, French, etc.)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes
  • ¼ cup or so or mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 jar of capers
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder sesame seeds

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(c)2020 The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

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