Too Hot to Cook In My Kitchen

This past August has been too hot to cook in my kitchen. I’ve been relying on excavating ends of sourdough bread from the freezer, adding these to pre-cooked packets of beans (also excavated from the freezer), fresh produce from the market, herbs from the garden, preserves (such as olives, capers, pickled artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes and cured anchovies), hard boiled eggs as well as any number of different types of cheeses. The ingredients are used to produce a variety if bread salads – panzanella – like the one I posted on back in 2014 as seen in the image below. These salads – despite all being based on bread – never look the same from one day to the other given the vast variety of combinations.

One of the veggies that I’ve been buying for other salads is the “dry cucumber” – a variety called atzouria in Greece, particularly grown in Crete. They are “dry” because they grow in drier conditions and as a consequence do not have watery flesh and are very crunchy. They tend to be smaller, sometimes fatter, and the ridged skin a lighter green than the usual sort of cucumber.

Sometimes we make simple pasta dishes (only having to boil a bit of water) with uncooked sauces like the Summer Pasta I just posted about with chopped fresh tomato, shredded basil, minced garlic – all marinated in EV olive oil …

… or simply a squeeze of lemon, a splash EV olive oil, a grinding of pepper and freshly grated Parmesan – a lemony variation of Cacio e pepe.

Cooler than cucumbers, we’ve been enjoying a lot of sorbet – including a pretty pink watermelon sorbet which I posted on a few weeks ago. A new creation for me.

Also in my kitchen is a new cookbook by one of my favourite food writers, Diana Henry. How to Eat a Peach has many recipes for hot days in the first half of the book. The second half is all about autumnal foods which I’ll try out later in the year when the weather turns. But, for now, there is no heat-induced prohibition against reading about cooking.

One – very simple – recipe in Henry’s book which we’ve been making a lot lately is a Catalan sort of bruschetta called po amb tomàquet (in Catalan) or pan con tomate (in Spanish). These are ciabatta or baguette slices brushed with oil and toasted, then rubbed with a very ripe tomato so fleshy tomato bits break off and the juices soak in. In addition, Diana Henry puts an anchovy on top. Naturally we’ve been using our own home cured anchovies. Yum!

I’m only sorry that I didn’t get to bake scones for 2018 International Scone Week (hosted by Tandy @ Lavender and Lime) 5-12 August. Too hot in the kitchen to bake! But, have a look at Tandy’s site for some really yummy looking scones. Once the weather cools, I’ll be back to baking and scones are high on the list.

A monthly IMK (In My Kitchen) post. Check out other IMK bloggers, each of us writing about what’s been happening in our kitchens each month, hosted by Sherry @ Sherry’s Pickings. Earlier IMK posts can be found on former IMK host blogs: Liz @ Bizzy Lizzys Good Things, Maureen @ The Orgasmic Chef) and the fabulous Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who began the IMK phenomenon. A chronological listing of my In My Kitchen blog posts can be found on a separate page, just click the link or look under the heading of Diaries in the Menu bar above.
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11 comments

  1. Your hot-weather choices look amazingly creative and delicious. Using bread in salad is a tradition that has nearly been lost, which is really too bad, but people just don’t view bread the way they did long ago. Change is good, but it’s sad when good things disappear.

    I can’t even imagine home-cured anchovies: such a fabulous thought!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    • I love bread salads and really any recipe that uses up ends of bread. Baking it myself means we often have crusty ends left over when the new loaf is made. Much better to use it this way than to throw it away. Home cured anchovies are a real treat. Worth doing if you can get the fresh fish – also easy!

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  2. Your home cured anchovies are lasting well Debi- very envious. and the array of simple summer foods makes me yearn for that season. watermelon sorbet- heavenly even just saying those words.

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    • I’ve now made many batches of those home cured anchovies. They do not last long in our house. Watermelon sorbet is delicious and I’ve also made other melon sorbets – all extremely good. Hope summer rolls round quickly for you. I’m looking forward to the cooler months!

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  3. I am pretty sure I have that book on my want list. Your meals look fantastic. I made a great panzanella salad recently from a home delivery box. I had a lesser one at a restaurant which made me want to recreate the boxed one. 🙂

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    • It is a great book like all if Henry’s books – many good recipes and excellent stories in between. The book’s cover is fuzzy like a peach! Bread salads (panzanella) are fabulous and you can be very creative in what you mix in. I prefer my bread with a little crunch, so I lightly roast the pieces first like giant croutons. Hope your own creation turned out yummy!

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  4. I’m waiting eagerly for my copy of How to Eat a Peach to arrive. It’s Food52 Cookbook Club’s pick for December and looks like a fun book. Unlike you, I’m really looking forward to warmer weather. Yes baking will become a pain, but sick of being cold all the time, even bundled up and with the heater on. Ahh well.

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    • How to Eat a Peach is a really good read + full of interesting recipes – like most of her books. Hope you enjoy it. We may complain about weather from time to time, but I really do love seasonality and all the different foods it brings. Looking forward to Autumn here on the other side of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your watermelon sorbet looks so pretty in pink:) I’ve never heard of a dry cucumber before. How interesting. Our hot weather is going to start soon. We normally get some really hot days in September. It was 27C today and a lovely clear day. Hope your weather is cooling down for you. Thanks heaps for joining in this month. Cheers sherry

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