What to Eat When You're Already Cooked
When the temperature hits 102 like it did yesterday in Washington, it's difficult to complete even the simplest of tasks, with that gunky layer of environmental haze muddling all cerebral functions.
When it's this hot, I can hardly walk a straight line, feeling tipsy (but not in a good way), let alone figure out what to make for supper. When it's so hot that it feels like the oven is already on, why would any self-respecting soul turn that dial at dinnertime?
This was the question I continued to ask myself as I wandered aimlessly at the Clarendon farmers' market late yesterday afternoon, in search of inspiration for a cool supper. Had my brain been fully operational, I would have noticed all the fixings for gazpacho right before me -- cucumbers, carrots, basil, peppers, tomatoes. There's no better time of the year to whip up this Spanish classic, which packs a nutritional punch to boot. Think of all those colorful antioxidants you're drinking up!
Some of us take issue with the love apple, which makes gazpacho a less than stellar idea -- although a white gazpacho with green grapes or cucumber would make an excellent Plan B.
When I'm melting, my thoughts often turn to Vietnamese summer rolls (aka fresh rolls or salad rolls), made of moistened rice paper wrappers, stuffed with herbs, a mix of produce diverse in color and texture, from julienned carrots to chunks of avocado, and most often, rice vermicelli noodles. Technically, you're supposed to boil those noodles, but if you really wanted to play by the un-cook rules, you could soak them in really warm water for about 20 minutes.
The option behind Door Number Three is my old hot weather standby, a big bowl of homemade hummus, with an assortment of crunchy veggies for dipping. Nothing makes Mister Mighty Appetite happier, and now he knows how to make it himself. Ain't life grand.
Hummus was exactly what we supped on last night, and our neighbors the Fonzes joined us in our cool repast and a glass of wine. With a little more thought, I would have expanded on the Middle Eastern theme and whipped up a batch of tabbouleh, a salad of quick-softening, most definitely un-cooked bulgur wheat, seasoned with parsley, lemon, scallions and chopped tomatoes. The hazy cobwebs surrounding my brain always seem to lift when I make tabbouleh.
Last, but not least, is ceviche, one of the coolest uncooked dishes on the planet, which involves seafood and acid, usually of the citrus variety. In a seasoned lime bath, scallops and shrimp can "cook" in less than 30 minutes. For the past several months, a reader has been asking for a recipe, and I promise this weekend I'm getting to work. Details in next week's space.
And now, it's your turn. What do you make for dinner that requires not a drop of oven or stove power? Share in the comments area below.
By Kim ODonnel |
August 9, 2007; 11:44 AM ET
Previous: Gluten-Free Adventuring | Next: Veggie Lunchbox and Shrimp 'Veins' With a Side of Hot Fudge
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Troylet | August 9, 2007 12:25 PM
Posted by: peapod | August 9, 2007 12:31 PM
Posted by: I should have read this yesterday | August 9, 2007 12:51 PM
Posted by: pali_g | August 9, 2007 1:26 PM
Posted by: rdv | August 9, 2007 1:38 PM
Posted by: Southern Maryland | August 9, 2007 1:46 PM
Posted by: gansie | August 9, 2007 2:11 PM
Posted by: dcgirl1899 | August 9, 2007 2:41 PM
Posted by: Reine de Saba | August 9, 2007 3:30 PM
Posted by: Kary | August 9, 2007 5:24 PM
Posted by: Somerville, MA | August 9, 2007 5:32 PM
Posted by: Upper | August 9, 2007 9:18 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.