If you can’t stand the heat … turn off the oven

Our temperatures haven’t been too scorching lately, but summer is still a great time to take advantage of some cooking-free recipes.

Layered Turkey Sandwiches
Note: Tapenade is an olive spread sold in most grocery stores.
• 2 medium cucumbers, cut lengthwise into thin wedges
• 1/4 cup rice vinegar
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• Coarse sea salt and ground pepper
• 1 country-style round bread loaf, 8 inches in diameter
• 1/3 cup olive tapenade
• 1/2 pound deli turkey, thinly sliced
• 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
• 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
• 4 ounces provolone, thinly sliced
Toss cucumbers with vinegar and sugar in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Cut bread loaf in half horizontally and scoop out insides. Spread inside of each half with olive tapenade. Arrange turkey on bottom half of bread. Top with zucchini, marinated cucumbers, tomato and cheese. Place top half of bread on top. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes.
Unwrap sandwich and cut into four wedges.
Makes four servings.
Source: Everyday Food (July/August 2011)

Spicy BLT Soup
• 2 pounds assorted tomatoes, roughly chopped
• Coarse sea salt and ground pepper
• 1 small cucumber, roughly chopped
• 2 medium Fresno chiles or jalapeños, stemmed and chopped
• 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
• 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
• 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
• 1 slice white bread, crust removed, torn into pieces
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• Chopped egg and garlic vinaigrette (recipe below)
• Croutons, crumbled cooked bacon and sliced lettuce, for toppings
Sprinkle tomatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt; let sit for 10 minutes.
Combine tomatoes, cucumber, chiles, onion, garlic, vinegar, bread, oil and sugar in a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing on solids, and then discard solids. Cover soup and refrigerate until cold, about two hours or up to three days.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a drizzle of vinaigrette and desired toppings.
Makes four servings.
Source: Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill, appeared in Everyday Food (July/August 2011)

Chopped Egg and Garlic Vinaigrette
• 2 hard-cooked eggs
• 1 garlic clove, minced and mashed into a paste
• 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• Coarse sea salt
Separate egg whites and yolks. Chop egg whites and set aside.
Mash yolks in a small bowl. Stir in garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil. Add egg whites. Season with salt.
Source: Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill, appeared in Everyday Food (July/August 2011)

Chickpea-Couscous Salad with Lemon and Fresh Mint
Note: This recipe makes good use of the microwave to cook the couscous. Any leftover salad can be used as a pita or spring roll filling.
• Juice of one large lemon, or more to taste
• 1/2 medium red onion, cut into 1/4 -inch dice
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 teaspoon salt, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
• 3/4 cup whole-wheat couscous
• 1 1/2 cups warm water
• 1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch dice
• 1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4 -inch dice
• 1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1/4 to 1/3 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves, torn
Combine lemon juice, onion, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
Place couscous, water and remaining salt and pepper in a large microwave proof glass bowl. Microwave, covered, on high for two minutes. Carefully check couscous for tenderness. If needed, give it another 30 seconds to one minute cooking time. You will want it slightly firmer than usual because it will finish cooking as it sits.
Add red pepper, celery, olives and raisins to the large bowl with the onions-dressing mixture. Add couscous, chickpeas and mint. Taste for lemon juice, salt and pepper and adjust as needed. Serve the salad cool or at room temperature.
Makes four servings.
Source: “Weeknight Kitchen with Lynne Rossetto Kasper” of “The Splendid Table” radio show.

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