, What to cook (or not cook) in a heatwave: the best salads, noodles and chilled soups for summer, The Nzuchi Times

What to cook (or not cook) in a heatwave: the best salads, noodles and chilled soups for summer

You can feel it in the air; the sweaty, hair-frizzying, thunderstorm-inducing climate that signals a heatwave. Get your fans at the ready, and dig out your factor 50.

Though the heatwave brings with it a plethora of daily challenges – what to wear, how to exercise, how to keep your meticulously pruned garden alive – our concern lies with what exactly one eats in the midst of a heatwave. While many of us may prefer to spend as much time as possible lingering in front of the open fridge door, actually finding something inside to cook feels far too strenuous a task.

As Telegraph food writer Diana Henry writes, “It’s the kind of day that makes me want to drop ice cubes down my bra and suck limes dipped in salt”. Nutrition simply takes a back seat. 

The importance of hydration goes without saying. Drinking plenty of water (no, a cold beer doesn’t count) is crucial. Slices of chilled watermelon make for the perfect snack – in the US watermelon is often sold with a sprinkling of Mexican Tajin seasoning, an addictive mix of chilli, spices and lime. Try topping watermelon slices with a pinch of chilli powder, lime juice and salt instead.

Try to go easy on your alcohol consumption (if you can), and opt for lighter, more veg-centric dishes to up your water intake and prevent unwanted meat sweats.

And as for what meals to cook, help is on hand in the form of crisp salads, iced gazpachos and easy, no-cook noodle dishes.

Each of the recipes below comes together quickly and can be kept in the fridge until the sun goes in and you’re ready to dig in. And of course, it goes without saying that the consumption of ice cream is vital for a happy heatwave.

Classic Greek salad

“If there’s one dish that epitomises Greek cuisine, it’s the Greek salad,” says Theo Michaels. Tomatoes are the star of the show, so buy the ripest, juiciest ones you can find. Try the recipe, here

, What to cook (or not cook) in a heatwave: the best salads, noodles and chilled soups for summer, The Nzuchi Times


Credit: Mowie Kay

Prawn noodle salad with chilli and toasted cashews

Tom Kime’s vibrant noodle salad is refrshing, light and filling. Find the recipe here

, What to cook (or not cook) in a heatwave: the best salads, noodles and chilled soups for summer, The Nzuchi Times

Hummus sandwich with dukkah and pickled peppers 

Dukkah is a nutty North African spice mix that goes with just about everything – try Stevan Paul’s open sandwich, sprinkled with dukkah, here

, What to cook (or not cook) in a heatwave: the best salads, noodles and chilled soups for summer, The Nzuchi Times

, What to cook (or not cook) in a heatwave: the best salads, noodles and chilled soups for summer, The Nzuchi Times


Credit: Daniela Haug

Fresh thyme and halloumi salad

This Middle Eastern salad is great on its own or as a side to grilled lamb or chicken – try Itab Izzam and Dina Mousawi’s recipe, here

, What to cook (or not cook) in a heatwave: the best salads, noodles and chilled soups for summer, The Nzuchi Times

Tuna, roast pepper, tomato and white bean salad

Diana Henry’s quick tuna salad requires no cooking and takes just 10 minutes to prepare – buy the best quality tuna you can, as it really makes a difference. Find the recipe here

, What to cook (or not cook) in a heatwave: the best salads, noodles and chilled soups for summer, The Nzuchi Times


Credit: Haarala Hamilton and Valerie Berry

Spicy tuna poke and mango salad

Jennifer Joyce takes inspiration from Hawaii for her vibrant and light tuna salad. 

, What to cook (or not cook) in a heatwave: the best salads, noodles and chilled soups for summer, The Nzuchi Times


Credit: Phil Webb

Waldorf salad on rye bread

A classic smorrebrod is easy, quick and can be made from whatever you have already in your fridge – Trine Hahnemann opts for the tried-and-tested combination of walnuts, celery, creme fraiche and grapes. Try the recipe here

, What to cook (or not cook) in a heatwave: the best salads, noodles and chilled soups for summer, The Nzuchi Times


Credit: Columbus Leth

Chilled Asian-scented pea soup with crab and radishes

Diana Henry’s riff on pea soup is refreshing, soothing and beautifully light – try the recipe for a weekend lunch, here

, What to cook (or not cook) in a heatwave: the best salads, noodles and chilled soups for summer, The Nzuchi Times


Credit: Haarala Hamilton

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