Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oven-Free, Summer Time Recipes! Yum!

Since our bungalow doesn't have air conditioning (like nearly all homes in Santa Monica), we try to cook oven-and-stove-free meals as much as possible during the summerto help keep the place cool.  I don't mind the heat-free meals at all because I have a serious love of cold soups and salads.

Here are three of my very favorite oven-and-stove-free meals to help you beat the heat!

  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling, plus 1/3 cup

  • 8 large portobello mushroom caps, brushed clean with a damp towel

  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves, a few sprigs

  • 1 tablespoon, a palm full, grill seasoning blend

  • 2 crusty semolina rolls or 1/2 small loaf semolina bread

  • 2 cloves garlic, cracked away from skin

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste

  • 3 hearts romaine, chopped

  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano, a few generous handfuls

  • Ground black pepper

  • Directions

    1. Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Drizzle olive oil evenly over mushroom caps liberally then rub with rosemary and grill seasoning. Grill 3 to 4 minutes on each side - until dark and tender. Remove the caps and reserve.
    2. While mushrooms cook, toast split rolls or bread under broiler until deeply golden then rub with 1 clove of cracked, split garlic. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the bread and season with a little pepper then chop bread into cubes.
    3. Rub the inside of a bowl with remaining cracked clove of garlic. Combine the lemon juice, Dijon, Worcestershire, hot sauce and anchovy paste. Whisk in 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Add the greens and bread to the bowl and toss greens with dressing to coat. Add cheese to salad and toss again then season with black pepper, to taste. Top servings of salad with sliced mushrooms across the top.

    **serves 4-6

    • 1/2 cup 0% fat Greek Yogurt
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish (optional)
    • Coarse salt and ground pepper
    • 4 to 6 Kirby cucumbers (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

    1. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, lemon juice, and dill. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk well to combine.
    2.Add cucumbers, and toss to coat. Garnish with more dill, if desired. Serve, or refrigerate, covered, up to 4 hours.

    **serves 4


    • 4 slices bread, crusts removed (4 ounces), plus 2 slices bread, diced and fried in a little olive oil (for garnish), divided
    • 11/2 cups cold water, plus extra to soak the bread, divided
    • 5 tomatoes (about 2 pounds), plus 1 small tomato, finely chopped (for garnish), divided
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • Small piece of green bell pepper, plus extra finely chopped green pepper (for garnish), divided
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped, for garnish
    • 1 small white onion, finely chopped, for garnish


    1. Break the 4 slices crustless bread into chunks and soak it in water to cover until softened.
    2. Remove cores from the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes into chunks and puree in a blender or food processor. Press the juice and pulp through a sieve, discarding the bits of skin and seeds.
    3. Squeeze the water from the bread and place it in a blender or food processor with the garlic. Blend until smooth.
    4. Add the tomato pulp, green pepper, cumin and salt. With the blender running, add the oil in a slow stream. Blend in the vinegar and some of the 11/2 cups cold water.
    5. Place the gazpacho in a pitcher and add the remaining water. This makes about 41/2 cups gazpacho. Serve immediately or chill until serving time.
    6. To serve, pour the gazpacho into individual bowls. Place each of the garnishes (finely chopped green pepper, cucumber, onion, tomato and crisp bread) in small bowls. Pass the garnishes with the gazpacho and allow guests to serve themselves.

    The gazpacho should be the consistency of light cream. Lemon juice can be substituted for the vinegar.

    **serves 6-8

    Enjoy, lovelies!



    P.S. Do you have any oven-free recipes you live for during the summer?!

      1 comment:

      1. I have tried that Gazpacho and it is truly divine.