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Refreshing Recipes for Hot Summer Days
Summer is a great time to eat seasonal dishes. No one wants to spend hours slaving over a hot stove or pre-heating the oven on a steamy summer night. With these fresh and flavorful recipes, you'll be able to enjoy the tastes of summer without breaking out in a sweat!
This refreshing Middle Eastern salad is ideal for boiling-hot days. Parsley, lemon juice, and tomatoes make this vegetarian dish a refreshing lunch entrée or a palate-cleansing evening meal.
150 g (2 bunches) Italian or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
4 large tomatoes, finely chopped
6 green onions (1 bunch), finely chopped
3 juiced lemons (9 tablespoons juice)
1 cup bulgur
1 cup water, boiled
5 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (or 1/8 teaspoon each)
1.) Mix the cup of boiled water and cup of bulgur in a small bowl. Place a clean kitchen towel over the bowl to prevent steam from escaping. Set the bowl aside to cool.
2.) Finely chop the green onions, tomatoes, and parsley. Place them in a large salad bowl.
3.) Juice all of your lemons (or grab your lemon juice). Pour the juice over the vegetables. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix well.
4.) When the bulgur is cool, drain any remaining water. Place the salad mixture over it and mix it well.
5.) Serve the dish and enjoy! Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to three days.
Gazpacho is a go-to summer favorite for inhabitants of Spain and Portugal. This classic chilled tomato soup will take you a long way. To make it more filling, add seafood or extra vegetables.
1.5 pounds seasonal tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 cup* tomato juice (*up to 1 cup; amount needed may vary)
1 lime, juiced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 small jalapeno, minced and seeded
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, toasted
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1.) Fill a large pot (6-quarts) halfway full with water. Set the pot over high heat. Bring it to a boil.
2.) Using a paring knife, make an "X" on the bottoms of the tomatoes. Drop each of the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds. Remove the tomatoes and transfer them to an ice bath. Allow them to cool for approximately 1 minute.
3.) Remove the tomatoes from the ice and pat them dry. Peel, seed, and core each of the tomatoes. Take the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes and set them in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Use this to catch the extra juices.
4.) Press as much of the juice through the strainer as possible. Add enough of the canned/bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup.
5.) Place the tomato juice and the tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the red pepper, cucumber, jalapeno, red onion, garlic clove, lime juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, cumin, pepper, and salt. Stir to combine the ingredients.
6.) Place 1.5 cups of the mixture in a blender. Puree the mixture for 15-20 seconds on high speed. Return this mixture to the bowl; stir to combine.
7.) Cover and chill the soup for two hours (or up to a day). Serve topped with the chiffonade of basil.
Halibut with Mango Salsa
Mild, flaky halibut is given a makeover in this exciting summertime specialty. A sweet and tangy mango salsa topping makes this fish dish both colorful and delectable.
4 halibut filets (approximately 6 ounces in size)
1.5 cups ripe mango, peeled and diced
2 cups cherry/plum tomatoes, diced and seeded
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon sugar
1.) Turn on your grill and set it to medium-high heat.
2.) In a bowl, combine the mango, cherry/plum tomatoes, cilantro, onion, lime juice, cider vinegar, and sugar. Stir in the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
3.) Take the halibut and rub it with olive oil. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt on the filets.
4.) Place the fish on the grill. Grill for 3-6 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when pierced with a fork. The internal temperature should ideally reach 130 to 135°F.
5.) Spoon the mango salsa over the filets and enjoy!
Whether you try one of these recipes or opt for something else, remember to stay cool and hydrated this summer! By eating and drinking well, you can fuel your body for even more fun in the sun.
Photo: (c) jfunk / fotolia.com