Technically it is still summer.
I know, I know. School is back in session and as Willa pointed out, September is the second new year. However, in terms of produce, Minnesota is in its summer prime.
The farmer’s markets are crazy full of beautiful produce. Tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, kale, potatoes, onions, cucumbers, melons, sweet corn, herbs, green beans, beets, and cabbage are all on stage. September might just be the best eating month of the year.
My friend, Diane, asked me for some complete summer meal ideas for when it’s too hot to cook….or you just don’t want to. So, the weather has cooled down a bit, but I still wanted to grant Diane’s wish. She’s one of those people that I like to please. She’s BFF’s with my sister, so it’s really in my best interest. Plus, I like her. You may remember her daughter made my super cool cake tester. Creativity and fun run in the family.
So Diane, here are some ideas for meals that are satisfying and easy.
- B,L,T’s are of the hook right now! You could try my badass vegetarian version (feel free to use real bacon – I won’t tell) and serve it with some sweet corn and cut up melon.
- Gazpacho! This is a great one since it gets better as it sits. I suggest a double batch. Serve it with some crusty bread or grill the bread and top with cheese. Add some fruit and maybe even throw in some ice cream for dessert. Cool and delish.
- Grilled Panzanella - I like Ina’s version because the grilling adds deeper flavor and it’s just more fun. I would suggest adding cubes of feta cheese at the end. You could grill up your favorite brats or sausages to go along with it. For dessert, why not give the one-ingredient ice cream a try?
- A different take on a burger. You may be sick of burgers, but why not mix it up? Try the lamb burgers with pistachio apricot relish or go crazy and try a black and blue bean burger. Sweet corn on the grill would be a great side dish for either one along with some cut up watermelon. If you still need something sweet, how about busting out the smores? It’s perfect roasting weather.
- My favorite orzo veggie salad is perfect for a potluck, but it’s also perfect for a weeknight meal. Add some hummus and pita on the side and you are good to go. For dessert, try grilling pineapple or peaches. Drizzle with balsamic if you want to get crazy.
What do you guys think? Do you have meal suggestion for Diane that are easy, satisfying and low-heat? Please share!