Thursday, June 15, 2017

No-Cook Recipes

My husband is fond of saying that he doesn't cook, he just heats. But some recipes don't even require heating - and in the summertime, that's often exactly what I'm looking for. Admittedly, there aren't a lot of entrees in this category, but on a hot, sticky summer night, sometimes a few cold appetizers or side dishes are all I want for dinner. Here are some of my favorite non-cooked recipes.

Million Dollar Dip
5 green onions, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar
1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup real bacon bits (or crumbled bacon; we often save leftover breakfast bacon so I don't count this as cooking)
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Stir together all ingredients and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with crackers, apple slices, or sweet bell pepper wedges.

Ricotta Lemon Basil Bruschetta
1 cup ricotta
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp shredded basil leaves
1 baguette, sliced

Stir the lemon zest into the ricotta and spread on baguette slices. (If you DO want to cook, you can briefly broil the bread, then turn over, drizzle with olive oil, and broil again until lightly browned before spreading.) Sprinkle basil over bruschetta and drizzle lightly with honey before serving.

Chicken Salad Topped Apples
Granny Smith apples
canned chicken
celery, chopped
candied pecans
salt and pepper

Drain the canned chicken and break it up with a fork. Stir in mayonnaise, celery, craisins, and salt and pepper to desired taste and consistency. Core the apples and slice thinly. Top each slice with a large scoop of chicken salad and top with a few pecans. Serve immediately.

Southwest Chicken Dip
1-1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cups shredded or diced chicken (leftover or canned)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 large bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange), diced
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-3/4 cups frozen corn, thawed
salt to taste

Stir together yogurt and seasonings and set aside. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients except salt. Stir in yogurt mixture and add salt to taste. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips.

Herbed and Spiced Goat Cheese Balls
1-1/4 lbs soft goat cheese
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped dill
2 tbsp finely chopped pecans
1 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Line a cookie sheet or flat platter with parchment paper. Form goat cheese into 1-tbsp balls and place on parchment. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to set slightly. Place the parsley, dill, pecans, and black pepper in 4 separate small bowls. Roll several balls in each to coat and set aside. Sprinkle the paprika in a thin straight line on a cutting board and straighten edges of the line with a knife. Roll some of the balls down the line to form a neat red band. Pour the olive oil on a serving platter and sprinkle with red pepper. arrange balls on platter and serve with toothpicks.

Apple Dip
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey

Combine all ingredients and serve with tart apple slices.

Caprese Salad
Fresh tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Fresh basil leaves (and/or pesto)
Balsamic vinegar or glaze

Thickly slice tomatoes. Top each with a slice of mozzarella and a single basil leaf (and/or a small spoonful of pesto). Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or glaze and serve immediately. (Note: If using vinegar rather than glaze, you may also drizzle with a little olive oil.)

Chickpea Salad
2 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 small bell pepper, finely chopped
2 ribs of celery with leaves, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic, ground into a paste with salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Mix together all ingredients except vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Combine remaining ingredients, drizzle over salad, and toss well to coat.

Chopped Salad
1 Romaine heart, chopped (about 6 cups)
6 oz fresh mozzarella, diced
4 oz salami or pepperoni, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 12-oz jar marinated artichokes, drained and chopped and the liquid reserved
10-12 large fresh basil leaves, chopped

Toss together all except basil and reserved liquid from artichokes. Drizzle with just enough reserved liquid to moisten, then top with basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss till combined.

Summer Squash Carpaccio
1 summer squash
1 zucchini
minced shallots
several tbsp chopped fresh herbs (whatever you have on hand)
lemon juice
olive oil
grated pecorino

Thinly slice the squash and zucchini lengthwise, using a mandolin. Arrange a few slices on a plate in a single layer. Sprinkle with shallots and herbs then drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Repeat until there are about 5 layers. Top with pecorino and allow to marinate for 20 minutes before serving.

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