Canadians rarely complain about hot weather. But that’s not to say that it doesn’t get good and hot north of the 49th parallel. And when it does, the last thing you want to do is slave over a hot stove, preparing a meal as hot as the temperature is outside.
Nope, on those sweltering summer days, the best meals are light, cool and refreshing. Think ceviches, cold soups and salads to suit each and every pair of sunglasses you own. Here are 13 of our favourite refreshing dishes to make when it’s too hot outside to cook.
If you know you’re heading in for a ridiculously hot weekend ahead of time, prep this duck carpaccio in advanced. It needs to sit in the fridge for 24 hours before it’s ready to eat, so you might as well stock up on lemonade and soda while you wait.
Crunchy, refreshing wraps like these nectarine summer rolls with coconut peanut sauce are perfect when the heat hits. The recipe calls for some “lukewarm water,” but that’s about as hot as things will get.
A piping, hot soup on the sunniest day of summer? Heck no! Instead, why not try blending together cherries, tomatoes and a few other simple ingredients to make a sweet yet savoury bowl of chilled soup.
Want to impress your summer soiree guests without breaking a sweat in the kitchen? A delicately plated serving of avocado tuna tartare will do the trick. It’s fresh, it’s healthy and best of all, it’s served cold.
Look no further than the tapas bars of Spain for your summer cooking inspiration. These olive, anchovy and guindilla pepper skewers take mere minutes to prepare, and they pack some serious flavour into every bite.
Ceviche is a classic summertime dish — this version is flavoured with ponzu, a popular Japanese sauce. The recipe does call for a little heat to make the ponzu, but there’s no shame in buying the sauce from a grocery store instead.
Salad boats are great because they take ordinary, healthy salads and turn them into finger food. Learn how to make two types: trout and creme fraiche-stuffed endives and goat cheese, orange and walnut-stuffed endives.
Layer your greens with this fresh, easy and fibrous salad from the Bite Me More gals. With some lemon, dijon and toasted almonds, you can easily enhance the flavour of raw Brussels sprouts.
Here’s a great way to use up the leftover noodles you have in your fridge: a cold ramen salad with ham, egg, cucumber and crab. Just cook the egg ahead of time or skip it altogether.
The Caprese salad is as fresh as it is colourful. And when the sun is beating down on your kitchen, use canned tuna instead of cooked.
Sometimes, the best meal is the most simple. Basic, five-ingredient ham and cheese bites like these are sure to please everyone, including the cook.
12. Scallop Ceviche
When the sun is cooking the earth, let citrus cook your dinner. Treat yourself to some fresh scallops from your local seafood market and keep cool enough to enjoy the fact that your back patio is bathed in glorious sunlight.
In the mood for a lighter dinner? Swap the corn chips for spiced pita chips (you can quickly bake them, toast them on the BBQ, or simply brush them with olive oil and seasoning if you don’t need the crunch) for a different take on your standard guac recipe.