Hot. Wilt-within-five-minutes-of-going-outside hot.
If our sizzling summer heat has left you feeling fried, with little appetite and vowing to avoid turning on the oven until temperatures drop about mid-October, it’s time to rethink what’s for dinner.
Salads are a logical choice as starters, sides or main dishes.
They are generally easy to put together, require minimal stove-top cooking and locally grown, fresh ingredients are plentiful now.
The latest cookbook from the Cooking Light editors and test kitchen staff celebrates the vegetables, fruits and herbs found at farmers’ markets and in grocery produce sections.
“Cooking Light Big Book of Salads” (Oxmoor House, $21.95, paperback) offers more than 150 recipes for starters, sides and main-dish salads.
The 288-page book features full-color photographs; includes lots of tips and techniques; lightens classic recipes, such as Caesar salad; and gives nutritional information for every recipe. Recipes are flagged as superfast, kid-friendly, make-ahead, portable and vegetarian.
There are recipes for vinaigrettes, dressings and toppings, including information on gourmet oils beyond olive oil and how to store and wash greens.
Among the book’s recipes are Candied Walnut, Pear, and Leafy Green Salad; Shaved Summer Squash Salad With Prosciutto Crisps; Mango and Black Bean Salad; Herbed Shrimp and White Bean Salad; Easy Grilled Chicken Salad; Tuna and White Bean Salad; and Macaroni Salad With Bacon, Peas, and Creamy Dijon Dressing.
“Cooking Light Big Book of Salads” offers lots of ideas for tasty, cool salads on a hot day.
The recipe for Summer Barley Salad says it yields four servings, but I found it actually makes at least eight or 10 generous servings. That difference has me wondering if the recipe should have called for cooked instead of uncooked pearl barley. Regardless, it makes a tasty, filling salad.
Chef to autograph book
Chef Marcus Samuelsson will sign copies of his memoir “Yes, Chef” from noon to 2 p.m. July 20 at Whole Foods Market, 3420 Veterans Blvd., Metairie.
Samuelsson, an orphan from Ethiopia who was raised in Sweden, now lives in the United States. He opened Red Rooster Harlem in 2010.
Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s Food editor. Her email address is email@example.com.
Summer Barley Salad
Makes about 8 (1-cup) servings. Recipe is from “Cooking Light Big Book of Salads” by Cooking Light editors. “Try this colorful salad and buttery lemon green beans as summery sides for a cookout.”
1 1/2 cups uncooked pearl barley
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 cup diced seeded plum tomato (about 2 small)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
15 kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
3 tbls. fresh lemon juice
2 tbls. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup (2 ozs.) crumbled feta cheese
1. Cook barley according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Cool completely.
2. Combine barley, corn and next 4 ingredients (through kalamata olives) in a large bowl.
3. Combine juice and next 4 ingredients (through garlic), stirring well with a whisk; drizzle over barley mixture. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 454 calories; 15.2 grams fat (3.8 grams saturated, 8.8 grams monounsaturated, 2.2 grams polyunsaturated); 11.6 grams protein; 71.9 grams carbohydrate; 14.1 grams fiber; 13 milligrams cholesterol; 2.8 milligrams iron; 557 milligrams sodium; 121 milligrams calcium.