Last night was another scorcher in the apartment and with the humidity seemingly reaching sub-tropical levels, I knew I had to avoid any long-term stove usage. Maybe I’m getting whinier, but I just don’t remember letting the summer effect my cooking so much. But in all honesty, it’s been a blessing in disguise (say’s the whiner). There are so many delicious dishes that require no heat whatsoever and are perfect for all of your summer produce.
It’s been really exciting chatting with so many friends this year who have a little garden of some sort. I think it’s because the planting and caring for your own fruits and vegetables is kind of addicting. Year to year, the gardens grow and so to does the creativity in the kitchen. But no matter where you are getting your produce these days, here’s a few amazingly simple side dishes that go well with just about anything.
This cucumber and blue cheese salad takes about 5 minutes to put together and is a tangy take on a pickle. These would be great next to some slow cooked ribs or even on top of your next burger. The next, a chickpea and raw corn salad uses a little bit of hummus and lemon juice to create a rich and creamy dressing. The sweetness of the corn and the brightness of the tomato work perfectly with the chickpeas and to be honest, this is more than just a side. I’m having some for lunch today! Enjoy!
Cucumber and Blue Cheese Salad:
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil
4 oz crumbled blue cheese (I like buying a wedge of danish blue)
In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the red wine vinegar, honey and olive oil. Using a mandolin or a knife, slice 1/4 inch slices of the washed and peeled cucumbers. Add to the dressing along with the blue cheese roughly crumbled and the chopped basil. Toss and chill for 20 minutes before serving.
Chickpea and Corn Salad:
1 can chickpeas
2 ears of corn
1 large tomato
1/4 cup hummus
Juice of a lemon
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
1/8 cup fresh basil
In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the lemon juice and the hummus. Add the finely chopped rosemary and chopped basil along with the chickpeas and corn (off of the cob). Add the roughly chopped tomato and toss, seasoning with salt and pepper. Chill for 20 minutes before serving.