What can I make for dinner when I really don’t want to use the oven or stove?
You are not on your own, Paul. This conundrum is all way too common to chef and Sardinia resident Letitia Clark. “It’s often so incredibly hot over listed here, there’s tiny will to do any actual cooking,” claims the author of La Vita e Dolce. “I also have the world’s worst oven, so I’m constantly eager not to use it.” As is so typically the circumstance, solace can be identified in cheese – more particularly, in “a big blob of ricotta in the center of a salad doused in punchy olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt”.
Mozzarella and burrata fall into the same camp, and Clark pairs them with summer fruits. That may well be “melon, nectarines with mint, crushed nuts and rocket, or peaches with prosciutto, burrata and basil. And I really like mozzarella with plums and punchy inexperienced leaves.” Merlin Labron Johnson, chef/operator of Somerset’s Osip and The Previous Pharmacy, meanwhile, keeps things fruity with a tomato and berry variety. “You want some thing with a bit of acidity but which is not overly sweet, these types of as raspberries or redcurrants.” He adds ricotta, herbs, tons of olive oil and seasons. “You could do a bit of balsamic, too.”
Clark is also partial to pasta with salsa cruda. “Make a common tomato salad [chopped tomatoes with olive oil, salt and basil], rip up a ball of mozzarella and toss the great deal via pasta with plenty of olive oil.” Sure, the pasta demands cooking, but the dish is eaten great, so it is allowed (no quibbling, please). Labron Johnson’s beetroot dip is also sanctioned. He blends cooked beets with nuts (almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts) and chipotle chilli paste, then scoops it all up with tortillas: “If cooking is a no-no, use pre-packaged beetroot.”
For immediate gratification, nonetheless, Labron Johnson makes a chilly soup by mixing tinned or jarred haricot beans with garlic, tahini and olive oil – “as if you are building hummus”. Include ample h2o (or, if you’ve cooked the beans, cooking drinking water) to get them to a “nice, soupy consistency”, time and provide with chopped cucumber, onion, herbs and pitta on the side. A different choice, suggests Santiago Lastra, chef/co-proprietor of Kol in London, is aguachile. “Make a juice [think cucumber or any summer veg that has a lot of natural water], add lime juice, garlic and chilli, and inside minutes you have a chilly, bitter and spicy soup.” Include raw shrimps or chopped veg – cucumber, onion, tomato – if the mood usually takes you.
You will not sweat it with ceviche, either. Though you could use meat, vegetables or fruit, Lastra keeps issues basic with white fish or trout. “Cut fillets or steaks into squares, add lime juice, chopped onion, chillies and herbs [coriander, mint], then blend with salt and tomatoes.” Serve with guacamole or tostadas and creme fraiche.
If Paul wants to be seriously organised, on the other hand, Lastra implies his very own childhood favourite, salpicón. “That can be quick ribs or other meat slow-cooked with dried chillies on Sunday, then shredded and held in the fridge.” In the course of the 7 days, costume with olive oil, lime juice, chillies and tomatoes, and serve with queso fresco (contemporary cheese), guacamole and tostadas. “The concept is you’re not just cooking a huge roast for 1 working day.”