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Caribbean Cooking: If you want Less Heat Spend Less Time in the Galley

Turn off the stove and prepare some fresh and easy vegetable side dishes this month!  It’s good to stay away from a hot galley (or kitchen) in the summertime…a time to take a break and prepare some simple, fresh meals that require little (or, even better, no) cooking, especially if you have someone else to do the grilling! These side dishes go well with grilled fish, chicken, the other white meat, and of course steaks; although I’m trying to stay away from the red meats for the summer.

Use fresh summer vegetables that you’ll enjoy just as much raw as cooked – onions, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, and cabbage. Use fresh herbs and toss with a simple oil and citrus juice dressing.

ONION AND TOMATO SALAD

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Marinating time: 30 minutes or longer
Serves: 4

2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 sweet white onion, thinly sliced
Sugar
Fresh chopped herbs, oregano, basil
Apple Cider Vinegar
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Layer onions and tomatoes in flat shallow dish, sprinkle with sugar. Add herbs. Pour over a little vinegar and oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

MARINATED TOMATOES WITH RED ONIONS, OLIVES, AND BLUE CHEESE

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Sitting time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

3/4 cup red wine vinegar
Sea salt
1 small red onion (or 1/2 of a big onion)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped chives
Freshly ground pepper
1 ripe medium size red tomato
1 ripe medium size yellow tomato
1/2 cup chopped pitted Calamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Mix together in a medium size bowl the red wine vinegar with 1 tsp salt until dissolved. Peel, halve and thinly slice onion crosswise. Add to vinegar mixture. Add water if the onions are not completely covered. Let sit about 15 minutes.

In another bowl, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and chives. Season with salt and pepper. Core and cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and then cut each half into slices. Put the tomatoes in a wide serving bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over and marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Drain onion and pat or squeeze out excess vinegar. Add the onions and olives to the tomatoes and toss. Add more pepper to taste, top with blue cheese and serve.

SHREDDED CARROTS WITH CILANTRO AND LIME

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

6 medium size carrots (about 1 lb)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Peel then grate the carrots. Use either the large holes on a box grater or a medium fitting on a food processor. Put the grated carrots in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the oil and lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the dressing and chopped cilantro to the carrots and toss.

TRI COLORED SWEET AND TANGY COLESLAW

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Cooling time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

1/4 cabbage, finely shredded
1/4 red cabbage, finely shredded
1 heaping cup matchstick-cut green (unripe) mango
2 medium scallions (white and light green parts only) thinly sliced

Dressing:
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp celery seed
1 cup vinegar
2/3 cup vegetable oil

Combine shredded cabbages with mango and scallions. Combine dressing ingredients and bring to boil. Pour over cabbage and toss. Cool, then refrigerate.

AVOCADO ORANGE SALAD WITH ORANGE VINAIGRETTE

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

4 oranges
2 ripe avocados
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cups Romaine, arugula and watercress
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

Grate zest from one orange and set aside. Cut peel from oranges (over a bowl to catch juice). Slice into rounds. Save juice for dressing, Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake well. Cut avocado into sections and sprinkle with lemon juice. Arrange greens on plates and top with avocado slices, orange rounds and red onion. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

RADISH-OLIVE SALAD WITH MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE DRESSING

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 1 – 2 hours
Serves: 4

1-1/2 cups sliced radishes
1/4 cup pitted Calamata black olives, cut in strips
2 Tbsp chopped scallions with tops
4 to 8 Boston lettuce leaves

Combine all, cover, and refrigerate.  Make dressing

MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE DRESSING:

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper

Whisk all ingredients together and pour over radish mixture. Serve on top of lettuce leaves.

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