If you look up “Dog Days” in the dictionary I’m pretty sure it says See: Texas in August. These days of soaring temperatures beg for easy cooking that requires no heat. Enter the perfect Summer Meal: a veggie salad and two dips. Pita or some other flat bread would have been a delicious addition, but I haven’t found a good gluten free flat bread.

chopped veggie saladimage from epicurious.com

 I discovered the salad in the early months of our marriage when I would spend my time scouring epicurious for tantalizing new recipes. It says this salad was once breakfast food in Israel and I can attest to the leftovers’ perfect suitability as a breakfast. But first make it for a cooling dinner. This most recent time I nixed the yogurt in the dressing and just added some white wine vinegar to thin it and it worked well. It was a thick dressing, really more of a sauce, but I like it that way.

*****

My “Tirokafteri” is a riff on a dip at Zorba’s, our local Greek place. They make it spicy and I’ve never figured out how to do that, but this is a good enough homemade stand in. I think I may try to find some spicier roasted peppers next time.

1 large log of chèvre (soft goat’s cheese)

2 roasted red peppers

Place both items in your food processor and blend. Yes, it’s that stupid easy.

*****

The Hummus recipe was basically the same as this online version, but I got it from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That. In Dinner: A Love Story she mentioned liking Ina Garten’s books so  I decided to check one out of the Library to scan for new recipes. I ended up bookmarking a ton, but this was the first one I tried. I made it minus the Tobasco because that’s not something I keep on hand. This hummus was much more lemony than I usually make it and I loved it. It reminded me of the Lemon and Artichoke hummus I get at Central Market.

We followed it all up with a trip to get gelato. Perfect.

Do you have any go-to meals for hot summer nights? 

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