Smoky barbecue and refreshing cocktails are two culinary hallmarks of the summer season. Chances are you've enjoyed both at a rooftop party or perhaps you've indulged from the comfort of your loved ones' backyard. But while some cities are phasing back into familiar routines, many are still finding creative ways to enjoy summer indoors — which means the typical settings in which you'd enjoy such summer treats may not be on the menu for you.
"You want to start with some recipes that are basically foolproof, like some one-pot dishes or a simple pasta dish," Hylton says. She also suggests watching YouTube videos to help you fine-tune your seasoning game, and keeping easy-to-prep items — like pesto or pickled veggies — on hand to bring brightness to your meals.
When it comes to keeping things fresh and full of summer flavor, Hagos — whose yummy dishes are inspired by her Ethiopian and Canadian upbringing — suggests leaning into citrus and spices. "In the summertime, there’s a lot of fun seasonal fruits and veggies to experiment with in dishes," she says. "Marinades, sauces, and spices are a must. Bland food is my enemy."
If you don't know where to start, Hagos points to Trinidadian green seasoning, Haitian epis or Ethiopian spices like Berbere as starters. "You can make a quick blend of herbs and freeze them in an ice cube tray for later," she explains. "Add this to quick recipes to turn up the flavor for summer when grilling meats or veggies or making quick stirfrys and soup."
Feeling inspired? Give their tips a try with their tasty recipes, below:
Eden Hagos' Misir (Ethiopian Style Red Lentils)
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1/4 cup crushed tomatoes
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper
3 tablespoons Berbere (Ethiopian spice mix)
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons oil
1. Cook finely chopped onions in a couple teaspoons of canola oil until they begin to caramelize.
2. Add Berbere spice and finely chopped garlic and stir.
3. Add lentils, crushed tomatoes, and just enough water to let the mixture simmer and cook through lentils
4. Once the misir begins to thicken add a whole jalapeño pepper.
5. Serve with 100% Teff Injera or rice if you don’t have access to injera bread.
9-10 rice paper rolls
1 carrot, julienned
1/4 cup chopped mint
171 grams/2 cups sliced purple cabbage
52 g/ almost 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
52 g/ almost 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
7-8 torn leaves of lettuce
5 oz /140 g cooked rice vermicelli noodles
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Peanut Ginger Sauce
1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a deep bowl until combined. Set aside until ready to use.
Fresh Spring Rolls
1. Chop up your veggies and place on a cutting board.
2. Prepare the rice paper wrappers per the instructions on the package. Pour water into a large wide bowl and dip the rice papers into the water, until they begin to become completely transparent. You want them soft, but not so soft that they can be easily ripped, which would be about 20 to 30 seconds.
3. Remove the rice paper wrappers from the water and onto a plastic, silicone, or ceramic cutting mat (or lay down a damp paper towel on a wooden board to prevent them from sticking) and slightly pat dry.
4. Fill your rolls — place 2 to 3 slices of the varying bell peppers, a few slices of julienned carrots, some cabbage, a handful of vermicelli noodles, a sprinkling of mint, and a small handful of lettuce (about 1/10th of the amount of total vegetables). Line them up in the center of the rice paper.
5. Roll the top and bottom of the rolls over the filling, then from left to right. Tuck the filling in as you roll toward the right, like a burrito, then lay them on the folded edges to set on a plate.
6. Serve on a plate with the dipping sauce and enjoy!