Super-Cool Dinners for the Dog Days of Summer

These dishes are packed with naturally cooling ingredients—cucumber, mint, yogurt, alllll the fruits and veggies—to help you stay chill during these grueling hot days.
Author:
Publish date:

Monday: Grilled Flank Steak with Cucumber-Dill Salsa

plate of Grilled Flank Steak with bowl of Cucumber-Dill Salsa

Be cool as a cucumber—literally—with this 20-minute, six-ingredient dinner. The steaks get grilled outside to keep temps down in the kitchen, and the quick and refreshing cucumber salsa only takes a couple minutes of chopping. Bonus: Cucumber is filled with water, so it helps keep you hydrated and sweat-free! 

Recipe: Try our Grilled Flank Steak with Cucumber-Dill Salsa

Tuesday: Cherry Gazpacho

cherry gazpacho

Chilled soup in summer is a winning move—all you need is a blender! This one combines the season's fresh cherries with cucumbers and bell pepper (plus some ice cubes, for good measure) for a colorful, cold meal. 

Recipe: Try our Cherry Gazpacho

Wednesday: Za'atar-Spiced Chicken Salad with Whipped Feta

zaatar-spiced-chicken-salad-with-whipped-feta-b620e5e3

It might sound counterintuitive, but spicy foods can actually help cool you off in hot weather—they make you sweat, thereby prompting your body's natural temperature-regulating systems. So lean into the spice with this dish, which starts with rotisserie chicken (aka don't even have to fire up the grill!) and builds on it with za'atar, cucumbers, tomatoes, and naturally cooling mint, for a major chicken dinner winner. 

Recipe: Try our Za'atar-Spiced Chicken Salad with Whipped Feta

Thursday: Mediterranean Eggplant Summer Rolls

mediterranean eggplant summer roll

Veggies are naturally high in water content, so eating plenty of them when it's hot out will help regulate your body temp. Pack a ton into your dinner with these rainbow summer rolls. Cucumber, eggplant, pomegranate, and fresh herbs—plus a touch of refreshing lime—will keep you full and well-hydrated all summer long! 

Recipe: Try our Mediterranean Eggplant Summer Rolls

Friday: Grilled Salmon with Mint Tzatziki

grilled salmon with mint tzatziki

Bring on the mint! The refreshing herb combines with cucumber and yogurt (both cooling foods), plus citrusy orange, to fill this grilled salmon with all the flavor. No need to break a sweat cooking it—just wrap it all up in foil, set it on the grill, and serve! 

Recipe: Try our Grilled Salmon with Mint Tzatziki

Ingredients

For the steak with cucumber salsa: 

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 lb. flank steak

For the gazpacho: 

  • 5 slices ciabatta
  • 3/4 cup EVOO
  • 1 lb. cherries
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Persian cucumber
  • Ice cubes

For the spiced chicken salad: 

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp. za’atar
  • 2 rotisserie chicken breasts, with skin
  • 7 oz. feta in brine, drained, plus 1 tbsp. brine
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest, plus 1 tbsp. juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes
  • 8 oz. small cucumbers (about 4)
  • Small fresh mint leaves, for garnish
  • Crumbled pita chips, for garnish (optional)

For the summer rolls: 

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. EVOO
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 4 rice paper rounds (8 to 9 inches)
  • 4 grilled eggplant rounds from deli counter
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

For the grilled salmon: 

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped English cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 large salmon fillet (about 2 lbs.)
  • 1 large shallot
  • 6 sprigs fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup EVOO
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar