It’s sweltering outside. To avoid the heat, we’re cranking up the air conditioning, taking frequent trips to the pool and—most importantly—stepping away from our stovetops and ovens. Stay cool (and out of the kitchen) with these entrées that require no cooking and simply let fresh, seasonal produce steal the show.
There are so many ways to eat this twist on ceviche, starring tofu: over greens; with Boston lettuce leaves for wrapping; tucked into warm corn tortillas; or of course, all on its own.
Rich, nutty avocado is a great carrier of flavors, like the fresh herbs and cooling cucumber that star in these fresh rice-paper rolls. The savory dipping sauce features tart, sweet and salty ingredients that mimic an exotic salad dressing—fitting, as these rolls are like a salad that is eaten out of hand.
Panzanella Salad with Tomatoes, Chickpeas and Tuna
This modern take on a bread salad combines chewy cubes of whole-wheat sourdough with a tasty mixture of marinated tomatoes, tuna and chickpeas. In a total heat wave, skip the toasting of the bread and use stale bread cubes instead.
This sandwich, popular street food in southern France, is basically a salade Niçoise on a bun. Look for pickled green beans in the pickle section of your grocery store. If you can’t find them, substitute pickled asparagus, beets or your favorite pickled vegetables.
Farmers’ Market Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette
This satisfying dish is somewhere between a salad and a pasta, with raw zucchini strands standing in for noodles.
This light salad—a great way of using up leftover pesto in your fridge—is best served in the summer, when tomatoes are at the peak of their season. Adding grilled chicken or cooked and cooled grains, such as farro or couscous, will transform this side dish into the main event.
Chopped Salad with Lemon-Chipotle Dressing
Use leftover roasted chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken for this main course salad, which features fresh, crisp vegetables in a bright but smoky dressing.
Begin marinating the chicken the night before you plan to serve this easy meal-in-a-bowl and it will be on the dinner table in minutes, thanks to the quick pressure-cooking function of an Instant Pot. The richly flavored sauce does double duty as chicken marinade and a sauce for the noodles.
Crab, Grapefruit and Fennel Salad with Paprika Aioli
An aioli spiked with paprika lends a hint of smoke to this sophisticated salad.
Belgian Endive, Apple and Walnut Salad
This recipe requires a few minutes of stovetop time, but if you can’t bear the though of turning on the burner, skip toasting walnuts on the stove and place them in a single layer on a plate in the microwave for two minutes, stirring halfway through.
Looking for more no-cook ideas? We’ve got six craveworthy appetizers and seven fabulous soups to help you beat that summer heat.