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Food

Recipes for when it’s too hot to cook

This latest L.A. heat wave is a scorcher. And if you’re like me, you’re not going to cook at all until next week because the smallest bit of heat from your stove or oven is enough to transform the whole apartment into a furnace.

Here are our favorite recipes that require little to no cooking. Added bonus: They store well in the fridge and just get colder and more appealing in this heat. You’ll be set for when you’re desperate for a good meal but not desperate enough to sweat all day and night for it.

Tender Israeli couscous soaks up a tart vinaigrette and plays well with crunchy, cold cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and feta. Prop styling by Nidia Cueva.
Tender Israeli couscous soaks up a tart vinaigrette and plays well with crunchy, cold cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and feta. Prop styling by Nidia Cueva.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)

Summer Salad With Israeli Couscous
Set aside 10 minutes in the morning to cook the couscous, then drain, mix it with the rest of the ingredients, and keep this chilled salad in your fridge all weekend for when you need an easy side dish.

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A nutty, savory pesto made with rich pistachios coats ramen noodles in this under five-ingredient noodle dish. Prop styling by Nidia Cueva.
A nutty, savory pesto made with rich pistachios coats ramen noodles in this under five-ingredient noodle dish. Prop styling by Nidia Cueva.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)

Pistachio Pesto Ramen
Making this pesto takes less time than the 4 minutes needed to boil the noodles. You’ll have dinner ready to go in the fridge whenever you need it.

Butter cucumbers with chile crisp breadcrumbs
Cold chunks of cucumber are the perfect canvas for a sprinkling of crunchy, fried breadcrumbs flavored with ginger, garlic, peanuts and Szechuan pepper.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)

Chilled Cucumbers With Chile Crisp Breadcrumbs
Make a double batch of these breadcrumbs, then keep them in a bag or container in the fridge and reach for them whenever you want to add some spicy crunch to a plate of veggies.

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Tender, jammy egg yolks make for a silky egg salad, the ideal filling for soft white sandwich bread. Prop styling by Kate Parisian.
Tender, jammy egg yolks make for a silky egg salad, the ideal filling for soft white sandwich bread. Prop styling by Kate Parisian.
(Pascal Shirley / For The Times)

Jammy Egg Salad Sandwiches
It takes only a few minutes to cook these jammy-yolk eggs. Then you’ll have the most delicious egg salad in your fridge to swipe onto crackers or thick slices of tomato, or squish between a couple slices of white bread.

Cold goat cheese is flavored with perennially chic, pantry-stable sundried tomatoes, along with caramelized garlic and briny capers. Prop styling by Nidia Cueva.
Cold goat cheese is flavored with perennially chic, pantry-stable sundried tomatoes, along with caramelized garlic and briny capers. Prop styling by Nidia Cueva.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)

Goat Cheese With Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Caramelized Garlic

This marinated goat cheese is the perfect thing to throw together when you have sun-dried tomatoes and capers in the pantry. Call it a snack, or use it to dress up a simple salad.

No-effort chocolate semifreddo is even easier when cut into squares and served as a premade ice cream sundae, ready for a showering of toppings and a dollop of whipped cream. Prop styling by Nidia Cueva.
No-effort chocolate semifreddo is even easier when cut into squares and served as a premade ice cream sundae, ready for a showering of toppings and a dollop of whipped cream. Prop styling by Nidia Cueva.
(Ren Fuller / For The Times)

Chocolate Semifreddo
What better way to beat the heat than with ice cream that you don’t have to leave the house to buy? Whip this semifreddo up with minimal effort and serve it plain or with sundae toppings. It’ll transport you to that beach vacation you wish you were at instead of sitting inside your sweltering apartment, clinging to the air conditioning vent for dear life.


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