10 Slow Cooker Recipes for Hot Summer Days
I’m sorry, slow cooker. No vacay for you this year. At 104 degrees F. in New York yesterday, it’s just too hot to turn on the stove, so I’m relying on you to make us a good dinner. I’ve found a nice sheltered spot for you outside that is protected from the elements and stray critters, so you can do your thing without heating up the kitchen. You won’t be using up a lot of precious energy either, since you only need as much as a 75-watt light bulb.
Of course, we won’t be wanting any of those heavy stews or hearty roasts you do so well during the cold months, but how about a Summer Minestrone, like I made yesterday, served at room temperature as they do on hot days in Italy, or poached chicken to turn into a warm weather salad, or even a simple frittata?
With more hot days to come, I’ll be turning often to my book, The Italian Slow Cooker. Here is what you will be cooking.
1. Summer Minestrone (recipe below)
2. Chicken with Rosemary and Garlic
3. Tomato Soup with Burrata or Goat Cheese
4. Farro Salad
5. Salmon with Basil and Lemon
6. Tomato, Ricotta and Basil Frittata
7. Pesto Chicken
8. Rolled Stuffed Turkey Breast
9. Roasted Beets with Orange Balsamico Dressing
10. Summer Squash with Tomatoes and Onion
I was all out of fresh tomatoes, so I used some canned crushed tomatoes instead. I did have some chick peas that I had cooked previously, but canned would be fine.
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
4 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium onions onion, chopped
2 cups drained cooked chick peas, or 1 16-ounce cans, drained
2 medium boiling potatoes, such as Yukon Gold peeled and chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups water
1/2 cup white rice
1 cup chopped fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
In a large slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, carrots, celery, garlic, onion, chick peas, potatoes, bell pepper, zucchini, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the water. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high 5 hours.
Stir in the rice and cook 30 minutes more or until the rice is tender and the soup is thickened.
Stir in the basil and let cool to room temperature. Taste for seasoning. Spoon into bowls. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and grated Parmigiano.