"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" may be sage advice for chefs, but it's not always practical for home cooks looking to prepare dinner in near-record heat. If you're tired of tossing salads or slapping together sandwiches and your dining-out budget is running low, here are five recipes to help you keep your cool.
Avocado Soup with Crab Salad
Don't let the heat interfere with your plans to entertain. Soups are counterintuitive for summer, but this decadent one from columnist and cookbook author Meredith Deeds is rich, creamy, satisfying and definitely company-worthy. Avocados are puréed with buttermilk, cream and lime juice, and then set in the refrigerator to chill. Before serving, top with fresh basil and a simple crab salad for a summer supper like no other. Find the recipe (and a few more warm-weather faves) here.
Herbed Cheese Stuffed Cucumbers
Cucumbers are terrific carriers for a range of fillings, says columnist and cookbook author Beth Dooley. Her recipe for cucumbers stuffed with flavored creamy goat cheese is a showstopper (and surprisingly filling), but make it a meal by using cucumbers as the vessel for chicken salad, tuna salad or even cold cuts. Winner, winner, no-cook dinner. Find the recipe here.
This is the go-to soup during warm weather. It's simple — puréed raw vegetables with splashes of vinegar and olive oil — and because it's served cold makes for a refreshing meal. Meredith Deeds gave it a family-friendly upgrade by adding bread, which gave it a creamier texture. Find the recipe here. Grilled cheese is optional.
Roast Chicken Salad
If you're looking for something more substantial, this recipe from Beth Dooley is based on a classic French bistro recipe. She also includes instructions on how to properly roast a chicken, but since it's not exactly oven weather, a rotisserie chicken from the market works just as well. Find the recipe here. Click for the chicken salad recipe, but if roasting a chicken isn't in your skill set, be sure to bookmark it for a cooler day.
Burrata, Mango and Tomato Salad
We ran this story from writer Alyssa Shultis just a few weeks back, but it's worth revisiting. Her series of recipes builds on each other, and after making this colorfully tasty salad, you'll have enough dressing left for another meal. It's a fruit-forward twist on the classic caprese, but if you need something with a little more heft, serving it alongside grilled chicken would be a stellar summer meal. Find the recipe here.