During the height of all this fresh produce and these insanely hot temperatures, all I can actually do without feeling veggie-overwhelmed or passing out from the heat is make raw vegetable salads. These refreshing, chilled salads make great main courses (if you increase the portion size) or they are perfect side dishes for grilled meats.
This past week I harvested a few cukes from the community garden after my weeding shift. I came home, flipped through some cookbooks for ideas, and decided on a cucumber mint salad. Dressed with olive oil, yogurt, and lemon, this salad was a breeze to make and felt like eating a cool breeze on a hot summer day.
Perhaps my favorite summer salad has been Moosewood's Raw Veggie Salad. I cleaned out our crisper drawers making this salad. Diced beets, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, cukes, and herbs in a oil-vinegar dressing. That's it. Really awesome, healthy, and light.
Also, I've been digging on Water's Lentil Salad, Food and Wine's Santa Fe Quinoa Salad, and a lot of fresh green salads.
A few recipes I'm planning for these upcoming weeks: Raw Kale Salad, Michael Symon's Zucchini Crudo, Deborah Madison's Tomato and Avocado with Lime-Herb Dressing, and the Summer Pasta Salad with Tofu from Everyday Food July/August 2010.
I hope these salads help you stay cool!