Even the keenest cooks struggle to summon up the energy to cook in summer, and no one feels like eating hearty hot meals that are likely to give us indigestion.
Summer is the time for light, natural, tasty dishes you can prepare in no time at all. Make the most of food that’s in season, such as cucumbers and watermelon, and include them in your main dishes. Here are some quick-and-easy fresh ideas.
Mouthwatering cold soups
Summer brings to mind gazpacho and garlic-and-almond soup, but there are lots of other cold soup options, such as classic Vichyssoise. If you want to create a taste sensation, how about cold tomato-and-watermelon soup? All you need is a blender and the following ingredients (serves 4): 600 g peeled ripe tomatoes, 1 watermelon, some basil leaves, half a glass of extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. First blend the basil leaves with the extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper until you get a smooth mixture. Then add the chopped peeled tomatoes and chopped, deseeded watermelon. Blend until you get a smooth mixture. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and leave to cool in the fridge for at least an hour.
From Greece, tzatziki!
Greek mezze—those small dishes served as an appetiser or starter in the middle of the table—are always a great way to get a summer meal going. One of the most popular is tzatziki, which uses a common seasonal vegetable: cucumber. You need 2 Greek yogurts, 1 medium-sized cucumber, 2 spoonfuls of chopped fresh mint, 1 spoonful of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 chopped clove of garlic, the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of pepper. Wash the cucumber well and grate to produce a puree. Strain off the water. Meanwhile, prepare a smooth mixture with the other ingredients and add the grated cucumber at the end. Serve with chicory, pita bread or crudités.
Salads with fruit
Do not hesitate to liven up your regular salads with some fruit in season. An extra dose of vitamins won’t do you any harm and it will also add some surprising flavours and textures. Just use your common sense. Why don’t you tart with some pieces of melon with cubes of feta, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of black pepper? A simple, different fresh summer dish.