Chilled Dinners for Crazy-Hot Days

The dish I keep on repeat all summer long is something I’ve come to call the Super Caprese. It’s just a caprese salad, that ultra-Italian combination of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, salt and olive oil, but made deluxe and regarded as a complete meal, with olives and capers added, maybe prosciutto and salami, and a fair amount of bread on the side. If summer is here, so is the Super Caprese.

Imagine my joy, then, when I saw Hana Asbrink’s new recipe for chilled silken tofu with tomatoes and peaches, inspired by caprese salads and hiyayakko, the Japanese dish of cold tofu adorned with toppings like ginger and shiso. That’s below, with two dishes that involve very, very minor cooking (and no ovens). There are two additional cold dinners, too, including one of my favorite summer recipes: Scarlett’s tuna salad, which Tejal Rao once wrote about for The New York Times Magazine.

Speaking of Tejal and her impeccable taste in recipes: Her new vegetarian newsletter, The Veggie, perfect for omnivores and vegetarians alike, has arrived and will send weekly on Thursdays. Sign up here! And stay in touch, please: [email protected]

Hana’s salad is a gorgeous heat-wave supper. As with any caprese, this preparation is only as good as the tomatoes (and peaches) in it. They should be ripe, juicy and full of flavor.

I made this extremely tasty recipe, one of Yewande Komolafe’s latest, for dinner on Tuesday and was enamored of the way the tender plantains mingled with the tomatoes and peppers in the sauce. It can be veganized by using tofu instead of eggs.

View this recipe.


This salad from the chef Scarlett Lindeman that is just about the perfect thing to eat on a hot day. I love the jumble of flavors and textures — herbs and cucumbers, tuna and pickled onion, avocado and lime — and the way they come together in every refreshing bite.

View this recipe.