Cool summer dishes – refreshment on hot days

Time for light summer dishes! Because when it’s really hot, you don’t feel like eating heavy meals, right? Our tips will help you to keep your body cool on hot summer days.

Once the thermometer starts nudging towards 30°C, most of us start to suffer. We love these temperatures when we’re on holiday because we can relax then and spend the hottest part of the day lying in the shade or cooling off whenever we want in the pool or the sea. In everyday life, on the other hand, we feel how our bodies are trying desperately not to overheat. Digesting fat and carbs takes way too much energy – what we really need now is liquids and minerals – because we lose both when we sweat. That’s why light summer dishes are what to go for – and snack format is fine too! We got some inspiration from the cuisine of warm countries.

Greek summer salad

Of course you’re familiar with shepherd’s salad or farmer’s salad – but here’s how to pimp it up a bit: to go with your crisp greens, simply add some fresh fruit – diced watermelon or honeydew melon – a great enhancement for this traditional Greek summer dish. A handful of blueberries or redcurrants will also give your salad a blast of freshness. Naturally, sheep’s or goat’s cheese belong in the salad but if you want it really light and fresh, try cottage cheese instead on hot days. And if you’re worried that you won’t have enough to eat, enjoy this colourful dish with a portion of couscous or quinoa, mixed with fresh herbs.

Caprese from Italy

Good old caprese salad is also a fantastic summer dish, of course. Fresh tomatoes from the market, a ball of mozzarella cut into slices, seasoned with fresh basil, salt and pepper, and garnished with a dash of olive oil – your light summer lunch is served! And best of all – locally harvested tomatoes taste twice as good in summer.

Summer dish in Spanish: gazpacho

Gazpacho, a cold vegetable soup, is an inspiring idea from southern Spain and Portugal. It is traditionally based on tomatoes, cucumber, sweet pepper and onions that have been finely blended and flavoured with spices without being cooked beforehand. That way all of the goodness in the vegetables is preserved and the taste is ultra fresh and intense. A little white bread is also blended and goes into the mix – that’s what gives gazpacho its typical texture. When it comes to seasoning, feel free to experiment with fresh herbs as well as with chilli, ginger or curry. Don’t forget a pinch of salt and some olive oil. To garnish: don’t blend all the vegetables; set some aside. Dice them finely and scatter on top of the gazpacho before serving. Let the prepared gazpacho infuse for a while in the fridge – and then enjoy a refreshing summer dish.

Liquid refreshment: Lassi from India

Naturally, summer dishes in snack form can also be liquid. This classic Indian cold drink made of yogurt, water and fruit – often mango – is also suitable for vegans, thanks to soya yogurt. You’ll need a hand blender or electric mixer and the typical lassi ingredient, cardamom seeds. Ideally, you should grind these beforehand using a pestle and mortar so that they mix in well. The unusual, savoury flavour delivers a very special kind of refreshment.

If you can manage it, on hot days take care of activities like sport or big shopping trips in the early morning. Getting up in good time is worth it because in the afternoon and evening you’ll have time for cool summer drinks and a summer dish with friends.

Vapiano Redaktion