I couldn’t bring myself to cook yesterday. When I opened the door to see how it was outside, it was like stepping into a sauna. The air was thick with humidity and it was so hot, despite a late afternoon rain shower. Thank goodness for air conditioners and take out.
Today is milder, less humid. Tomorrow is supposed to be even more so. It’s a relief. I’ve lived a lifetime of New England summers where days go from pleasantly mild to intolerably hot and humid overnight. I’m used to experiencing the old saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” Yesterday was a prime example of that with the fast and furious rainstorm that rolled in and exited so quickly that I blinked and it was sunny again. That’s how summer life is here. That doesn’t mean I enjoy it.
Hot, humid days don’t exactly inspire me to spend time doing anything. Yesterday afternoon, Paige took an extended nap while Will did puzzles and I read The One That I Want by Allison Winn Scotch (great book – I finished it in a day and loved it). When dinnertime rolled around, I briefly considered cooking. Very briefly. Then I phoned our local Italian restaurant for a pizza, garlic bread and salad.
That said, I don’t always eschew cooking on hot days. Sometimes I have the foresight to prepare a ready-to-eat meal like this salad, which is great to begin with and only gets better with sitting. It’s hearty, but light. It’s fresh and flavorful, but requires little effort. Perfect for those sauna-like days.
The lime and cilantro dressing on this really bring the peppers, pineapple, pomegranate and black beans together. It’s a lovely harmony of flavors that cools and satisfies while you eat … and it’s also perfect for picnics on those not-as-hot days.
What do you do when it’s too hot too cook and too hot to grill?
- 1 green pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 1 can black beans, , drained and rinsed
- 1 cup diced pineapple
- 1 cup sweet corn kernals
- 1 lime, , juiced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
- 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- salt and pepper, , to taste
- Wash the peppers in cool water. Then, deseed and dice them. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the black beans, pineapple and corn to the mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Pour the lime juice and olive oil over the pepper mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro. Mix well.
- Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Stir to combine.
- Salt and pepper the salad, to taste.
- Serve immediately, or chill until ready to eat.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.