Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's too hot to cook

Tuesday night I didn't even notice supper time come or go.  The kitchen isn't the coolest room in the house, so I didn't go near it, and when the outside and inside temperature have been over 90 and humid for hours, my stomach seems to shut down.  Then of course, around 10 pm a cool breeze began to stir and all of my senses reemerged, but there was still no way I was going to turn on even a single burner.  Luckily, vegetables are in high supply and it's easy to make big and varied salads.  We're now on day three of the heat wave, and I've added in cold veggie sandwiches to my diet for a little change of pace.  There's no real recipe coming here, more a set of suggestions.  The biggest one, though, is that while all of the fantastic fresh stuff goes well together, only raw food for three days straight gets tedious.  A supply of roasted goodies, jarred and chilled, can make a world of the difference.  If you can plan ahead, on those 70-degree nights get it going.  Otherwise, even last night between midnight and five am it was cool enough to have the oven on--usually a time when you're doing something else, ok, but when I'm faced with a choice between sleeping and eating or even preparing good things to eat, sleeping doesn't stand a chance. 

My favorite cooked add-ins are:
Kim's roasted tomatoes
Broiler-roasted red peppers: cut red peppers in half, remove seeds, and set flat side down on a baking pan.  Place under a broiler until the skins are black.  Set into a bowl and cover tightly for 10-30 minutes.  Slip off skins and slice peppers.
Roasted eggplant: slice into 1/4" thick rounds or strips, lay on a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper, and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes
Roasted zucchini: same as above.
Marinated steamed potatoes: peel if desired and cut potatoes into 1" squares.  Steam until just tender.  While they are still hot, put into a jar with a good amount of balsamic vinaigrette and shake well.   
Marinated steamed green beans: same as above, just trim the beans and leave whole or cut as desired.
Marinated steamed beets: big whole beets aren't fully in season yet, but beet greens are and they often come with tiny little baby beets attached--you can cut these off and use them, they're so tender they don't even need to be peeled--prepare as for potatoes
Hard boiled eggs

Toss some selection of the above in a salad or layer for a sandwich with any combination of
lettuce if you can still get any
finely chopped swiss chard (a great lettuce replacer and in full supply now)
thinly sliced cabbage (just coming into season)
cucumber if you can still get any
tomatoes (the combo of fresh and roasted in any of the veggies is delightful)
grated or finely chopped apples (now in season!)
carrotts
sweet peppers
raw green beans
fresh corn kernels
celery

And then to really take a salad it over the top, sprinkle on some feta cheese

2 comments:

maamypatom said...

instead of tossing them together,put a mound of each ingredient tastefully on a serving dish with drained tuna and your favorite olives, and you have a relative of salade nicoise, where the kids can choose the parts they like and avoid the parts they stick their noses up at. I line the dishes with lettuce to start, but it isn't necessary. We had three variations of this for lunch this week, the first one using cold vinegretted left over french cut cooked green beans and onions with almonds. It's hot here too!

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