hot weather vegetarian dishes: go.
September 11, 2013 5:51 PM   Subscribe

You guys. It's so hot. I have guests coming and I don't want to be baking vegetable gratins or stirring risotto or God forbid melting cheese onto anything. Help me think of hot weather vegetarian dishes that have plenty of protein and work for company, ok? Stuff that is served cold and ideally doesn't take much (or ideally any) heat to prepare. I've already thought of: gazpacho; deviled eggs; watermelon-feta salad; pitas with hummus and Israeli salad. Maybe that's my menu right there. But there must be more options. Tell me what you would make. Thanks!
posted by fingersandtoes to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
Corn chips and salsa.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:56 PM on September 11, 2013

I know I've promoted this book before (I swear I'm not associated) but if you can get a hold of Fuchsia Dunlop's latest Chinese cookbook Every Grain of Rice, she has a whole chapter full of cold appetizers, some of whom are extraordinarily easy. Most are vegetarian and many don't require too much heat at all. There's a soft tofu and avocado dish that I've made in the heat of July that worked out really well.
posted by andrewesque at 5:57 PM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

A cold soba noodle salad ; recipes for variations abound on the internets.
posted by Fig at 5:57 PM on September 11, 2013

Cashew spread and sliced bell peppers. This spread, made with raw cashews soaked for about an hour, is really good. You can adapt the ingredients if you don't have something, although nutritional yeast is really needed. In fact, there are lots of raw cashew spreads which can be tweaked - herbs, garlic, etc. I avoided them for years because they're often called "vegan cheese" and I was like, no, ew. But they are delicious and I regret not figuring that out earlier.

Also, I personally like honeydew/raspberry/mint salad.
posted by Frowner at 6:00 PM on September 11, 2013 [4 favorites]

Not sure how much effort you want to put in, but this raw vegan blog has lots of amazing stuff.
posted by cairdeas at 6:01 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Guacamole salad. Quick, no heat, delicious. I'm also a big fan of orzo salad.
posted by pitrified at 6:02 PM on September 11, 2013

Oh, and about what I personally would do, one easy thing to do is make-your-own burritos. Get some tortillas, a few different kinds of beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cut veggies, etc., and everyone can make their burrito as they like.
posted by cairdeas at 6:06 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Frowner, any idea what would happen if I used roasted cashews? I have a lot of roasted cashews, don't really know where to get raw ones.

(I'm glad you noted that "vegan cheese" sounds revolting... now I can believe you that it's actually tasty...)
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:09 PM on September 11, 2013

I don't know what would happen if you used roasted cashews...but peanut butter is made with roasted nuts, so I expect you'd get something edible. What I'd do is start by adding the garlic, salt and tahini to the pureed soaked roasted cashews, and then adjust the flavor from there. Those first ingredients will definitely go with roasted cashews, so you'll have a good base.
posted by Frowner at 6:11 PM on September 11, 2013

We make something like the guacamole salad that pitrified linked too but with a lot of diced potato added. You have to boil or steam the potato, but it's served cold. And it's delicious.

Depending on where you are, you may still be able to get great peaches and tomatoes, which make a wonderful salad when combined. I got that idea from Bittman who has tons of other summer salad ideas.
posted by Xalf at 6:12 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Egg or tofu boats!

Make an egg or tofu salad.
Take little Romaine lettuce leaves - the cuter and more adorable, the better.
Scoop the salad into the leaf 'boats'.
Top with a crouton, for eating or petting.

posted by spinifex23 at 6:12 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

I LOVE this sundried tomato/white bean spread (bonus tip: sub a few-to-a-handful of pinenuts for the olive oil if you've got them!). You can leave the onion out & use just basil if you want (I use either lemon juice -- preferred -- or red wine vinegar but not both). Great on flatbreads & in other "pizza" like applications. Or just as a dip. A bit fancier and different than just hummus.

You mentioned gazpacho, but a nice variation like this watermelon/cucumber gazpacho may work for you too -- I'd personally add in a bit of black or white pepper there too. Clearly, you'd have to sub that out for your watermelon/feta salad, but it would be a fun switch.

Also, the edamame pesto here is insanely good. You could skip the mushrooms and just serve it on cold pasta, if that's not too much cooking (I'd toss in some halved grape or cherry tomatoes). Edamame can be thawed in the microwave, which helps with the non-cooking thing.

Good luck!
posted by darksong at 6:17 PM on September 11, 2013 [4 favorites]

This cold Vietnamese noodle salad is amazing, with lots of protein from tofu (the recipe recommends fried, but I've done cold tofu, and it's good too. It may not be traditional, but I add julienned carrot and cucumber, too.
posted by rebekah at 6:23 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

The other night when I couldn't bear the thought of heating up the house by cooking, I made bread salad and threw in a can of well-rinsed beans. It was excellent.
posted by BrashTech at 6:28 PM on September 11, 2013

Okay, I don't know if your friends are like mine, but on nights like that sometimes it's great to just skip dinner and head straight to an Ice Cream Social. I'm just saying.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:33 PM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

Caprese salads as an appetizer or a side- good tomatoes + good mozzarella + basil +good olive oil +balsamic vinegar +salt and pepper.
posted by charmedimsure at 6:36 PM on September 11, 2013

Mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, balsamic.

Put the first the first three on toothpicks, then pour on balsamic.

posted by zizzle at 6:58 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

potato salad, served on a bed of arugula - great combination
deviled eggs
cold noodles with peanut sauce
spring rolls
posted by theora55 at 7:04 PM on September 11, 2013

I have been making black bean salsa with corn, peppers, avocado, cilantro, like juice, and cayenne and/or jalepenos.

Also, I invented something called spring roll salad - take all the ingredients you would put in spring rolls and make them into a salad with rice vermicelli noodles. Then make the dipping sauce but turn it into a salad dressing by adding some peanut oil and rice vinegar and a little water. Delicious.
posted by mai at 7:32 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Maybe belated, but my go-to salad this summer is this:

2 tins butter beans, rinsed and drained
crumbled feta

Those are the key ingredients, and they get dressed with lemon juice + olive oil + sumac + thyme. For more of an impressive salad, you can add chopped cucumbers, chopped sweet peppers (roasted or not), kalamata olives, and/or chopped tomatoes. I took it (with cukes, green onion, and roasted red pepper) to a picnic as the vegetarian entree, and later found out that the meat-eaters had liked it so much that my vegetarian cousin hadn't managed to get any before it was gone!
posted by MeghanC at 7:49 PM on September 11, 2013 [4 favorites]

Apple slices with almond or peanut butter!
posted by foxfirefey at 7:50 PM on September 11, 2013

My grandmother's lentil salad recipe technically starts with bacon, but could work with olive oil.

It's basically cooking lentiils, then mixing them with minced carrots and onions sauteed in fat (olive oil if you're a vegetarian) and a little extra oil, vinegar, and mustard until you end up with a nice vinaigretted lentil salad, which looks really nice served on top of greens at room temperature.
posted by padraigin at 7:52 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can corn, drained
1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped (you can get them already roasted in a jar at the store)
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Put quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender.
In a large bowl, mix together quinoa, corn, roasted pepper, beans, scallions, and cilantro.
In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, and seasonings.
Pour over quinoa mixture, stir all together.
Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to let flavors set.
posted by ZabeLeeZoo at 8:32 PM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'm a super big fan of this super simple couscous salad with cherries and arugula. (Note: It's not worth the hassle to cook the couscous with the orange juice or to have the couscous dry on parchment. Just boil and toss with other ingredients; cool in fridge.)

Another couscous salad that is super easy from Mark Bittman:
1. Boil a cup of Israeli couscous and cool
2. Soak 1/2 cup of raisins in 1/2 cup of port or hearty red wine for 15-30 minutes
3. Thinly slice fennel bulb
4. Toss couscous, raisins, wine and fennel together
5. Top with favorite lemon vinaigrette
6. Devour
posted by frizz at 9:45 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Steamed, then chilled eggplant slices, served with a topping of 50/50 flame roasted green chillies and green peppers tossed with sesame oil and soy sauce.
posted by flippant at 10:27 PM on September 11, 2013

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with tofu.

Cucumber, tomato and feta salad with lemon/oil/vinegar and dill.

Egg Salad on pumpernickel.

7-Layer Mexican Dip and chips (you don't have to heat up the beans)
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:02 AM on September 12, 2013

Chilled tofu with soy sauce and scallions! So easy and delicious!
posted by snickerdoodle at 9:30 AM on September 12, 2013

Chilled pea soup is really nice on a hot day. This recipe has mint, but there are lots of other variations.
posted by tully_monster at 12:33 PM on September 12, 2013

Here's the recipe for my amazing bruschetta/salsa thing:

5 x fresh, organic Roma or vine tomatoes
1 x red onion
1 x garlic head
1 x jar of sliced jalapenos
1 x punnet of strawberries
salt, pepper, olive oil

Dice the tomatoes and then finely chop the onion, garlic, jalapenos and strawberries. Put them all in a bowl or tupperware container and mix through generous helpings of good olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover this and leave it to stew in the fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. Remove and serve with fresh sliced bread of your choosing, toasted or untoasted.

Edit (I know I'm not supposed to do this, but...): Fresh jalapenos DO NOT work as well with this, but CAN be choked down.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:22 PM on September 16, 2013

« Older Maximum BTUs... no MINIMUM BTUs for in home wok...   |   90 Days and still no diagnosis. Maybe MeFi can... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.