While the dog days of summer officially begin in a couple of days (thanks, Google!), there’s a full-on heat wave happening here in New York. With the temperature climbing and lethargy sinking in, the only dinners I feel like making are easy and oven-less. Bright, fresh, summery salads are the perfect antidote to sweltering heat and faulty AC units. This cobb salad is bursting with summer produce – fresh corn, tomatoes, avocado and chives. Plus, it has enough protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied. The only heavy lifting you’ll need to do is grill the chicken and boil eggs.
If you’re looking for more no-cook dinner inspiration, check out my recent article!
Summer Cobb Salad
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons tarragon, chopped
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 package of spring mix salad greens or arugula
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into cubes
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin, grilled brushed with some BBQ sauce at the end and cut into strips
1 avocado, cut into cubes
2 ears of corn, kernels removed
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons chives, minced
Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well. On a large platter, arrange lettuce and top with rows of the tomatoes, egg, avocado, chicken and corn. Sprinkle chives over everything and season salad with salt and pepper. Pour dressing on top of salad and serve.
With the snow rapidly falling here in New York, I had soup on the brain in a big way. And maybe a tropical beach vacation too. When my brother, Andrew, told me he was making my mom’s famous vegetable soup on his snow day, I knew I had to follow suit. Trudging through the snow, I made my way to the market to purchase the essential veggies and 45 minutes later it was soup time. Carrots, zucchini, potatoes and cabbage all in a rich tomatoey-beef broth will have you coming back for seconds. And thirds. This soup is really quite special and should not be overlooked when plotting your next pot. Add your favorite veggies, omit the ones you don’t care for, and throw in the ones already in your fridge. SOUP there it is!
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced carrots (2 carrots)
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery (2 stalks)
6 cups beef broth
2 cups canned diced tomatoes, including the liquid
1 cup peeled, diced potatoes
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup chopped cabbage or spinach
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 tpsp pepper
salt to taste
Briefly saute onion, carrots and celery over medium heat until they start to sweat a bit. Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the cabbage, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 35 minutes. Add chopped cabbage and cook at least 15 minutes longer, or until cabbage is tender. It’s very important to taste the soup and adjust the seasoning to your liking. I added more beef broth, salt and pepper and even a bit more of the canned tomatoes.
I told you I was dreaming about vacation. Does drinking this out of a stemless wine glass make it classier? Don’t answer that.