When I go to the market these days I reconcile a little with the summer. Although I’m from Murcia, I don’t get along very well with the high temperatures, but the fruit and vegetable variety that the season gives us makes up for the heat. While fruits take almost all the prominence, today we want vindicate summer vegetables with this selection of recipes ideal for the summer.
We have some vegetables available all year round and we forget that it is in summer when they shine with all their splendor. Now what so many people want to eat lighter and crave fresh and healthy dishes, seasonal vegetables are the best ingredient to star in our summer menus.
Salads, not just tomato
Being in the best tomato season a simple salad with assorted tomatoes well seasoned It is already pure pleasure, but we can give it a little more grace in many ways. For example, the gazpacho in salad will delight those who like to bite and dip bread the most, or we can accompany them with some vintage vegetables such as in the tomato salad, green beans with anchovy dressing.
Grilled zucchini salad
We wash and cut the zucchini into one centimeter discs. We heat a grill type plate and we mark the zucchini about two minutes on each side. It has to be crunchy, but not raw.
We prepare the dressing by mixing the oil with a little lemon zest and two teaspoons of juice. Add a little dried oregano, salt, black pepper and beat until smooth.
We serve by placing the zucchini discs on a platter with the crumbled feta cheese on top, fresh mint leaves and sprinkling with the sesame seeds. We water with the dressing and serve.
Complete recipe | Grilled zucchini, feta and mint salad
But we don’t want an overdose of tomatoes either – do we? – and, oddly enough, there are people who can’t stand it, so let’s not forget about salads. with other vegetables as protagonists. Zucchini is one of my favorites, cooked or raw in a carpaccio with orange or with avocado and raspberries. It is also the great moment of a great variety of lettuce and green leaves, radishes, peppers, aubergines … getting bored with the usual salads is difficult.
Cold creams and soups
Summer, vegetables, fresh, hydrating and easy dishes … Impossible not to mention the large catalog of cold creams and soups we have to prove. From the classic trio of Andalusian gazpacho, cordovan salmorejo and ajoblanco, to all kinds of variants and other equally refreshing proposals, such as the tarator or yogurt and cucumber soup to the cold avocado cream and raw zucchini.
Starters and side dishes
Many of my favorite vegetable dishes stand out for their versatility when it comes to serving them. For example, the Murcian pisto that my mother makes the same you can take as a starter or first course that accompanies a baked fish or it becomes a single dish adding bonito and egg. And the same applies to the pepper and tomato ratatouille, the Manchegho ratatouille or the Riojan ratatouille.
Summer vegetables can be cooked in aromatic sauces to drink warm or cold, they are also great grilled or cooked on the grill or barbecue. A simple sauté, like this one with aubergine and pepper with yogurt sauce can complete much less in a matter of a few minutes, or we can mark an original ratattouille in tempura as a garnish for meat and fish.
Vegetables and egg, perfect match
Sometimes I get tired of eating salads or gazpacho for dinner; then I switch to the vegetable + egg combo. A simple stir fry topped with a couple of set eggs on vegetables, as in the vegetable and egg skillet, it is already a delicious dish for dipping bread. Some variants are finished in the oven, such as chackchouka or eggs in cocotte with tomato and goat cheese, or we can simply mark an omelette like this one with zucchini and brie cheese.
Recipes with meat
Besides serving as a garnish, vegetables can be incorporated into meat dishes without thinking of steaming stews. My favorite option is, again, stir-fries, as in curried zucchini chicken wok, a quick and healthy technique which works with other types of meat as well, as in the veggie and beef stir fry recipe. The cuisine of the Middle and Near East can also inspire us with dishes such as lamb tagine with zucchini, raisins and mint.
I personally eat a lot more fish during the summer; Perhaps because I spend my holidays near the sea and I have the source closer, but we must admit that it is much more appetizing. Seafood dishes are nutritious but light, fresh and require shorter cooking times. And, of course, summer vegetables are great for him.
Dishes such as tuna with aubergine and tomatoes or gilthead sea bream are cooked in a moment, and there are also good options if we want to show off more on the table, like cod timbale with caramelised peppers.
Pasta, rice and couscous
It almost seems that pasta and rice dishes are more appealing on vacation, and filling them with veggies is a great way to lighten them a bit and turn them into very nutritious and healthy recipes. It costs nothing to prepare a sauce to accompany our favorite pasta, and even movie stars know that; Sophia Loren’s spaghetti prove it.
Other recipes such as papardelle with seafood and tomatoes or wholemeal pasta with roasted peppers and tapenade have all the essence of the Mediterranean and feel great on hot days, although we can also choose rice. It makes my mouth water at the thought of a good vegetable paella, well washed down with lemon.
Quiches, pies, and other savory doughs are great for the summer. They can be prepared in advance or ready for the final kiln blow, they can be taken to the pool or on a picnic and they score many points in a barbecue on the terrace.
So as not to make them too heavy vegetables make it easy for us if we turn them into the main protagonists of these elaborations. For example, who could resist the colorful zucchini and ricotta spiral quiche? And if we want to complicate ourselves even less, just as delicious is the zucchini and mushroom tart, with refrigerated puff pastry.
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