You can feel it in the air; the sweaty, hair-frizzying climate that signals a heatwave. Get your fans at the ready, and dig out your factor 50.
Though the heatwave brings with it a plethora of daily challenges – what to wear, how to exercise, how to keep your meticulously pruned garden alive – our concern lies with what exactly one eats in the midst of a heatwave. While many of us may prefer to spend as much time as possible lingering in front of the open fridge door, actually finding something inside to cook feels far too strenuous a task.
As Telegraph food writer Diana Henry writes: “It’s the kind of day that makes me want to drop ice cubes down my bra and suck limes dipped in salt.” Nutrition simply takes a back seat.
The importance of hydration goes without saying. Drinking plenty of water (no, a cold beer doesn’t count) is crucial. Slices of chilled watermelon make for the perfect snack – in the US watermelon is often sold with a sprinkling of Mexican tajin seasoning, an addictive mix of chilli, spices and lime. Try topping watermelon slices with a pinch of chilli powder, lime juice and salt instead.
Try to go easy on your alcohol consumption (if you can), and opt for lighter, more veg-centric dishes to up your water intake and prevent unwanted meat sweats.
Each of the recipes below comes together quickly and can be kept in the fridge until the sun goes in and you’re ready to dig in. And of course, it goes without saying that the consumption of ice cream is vital for a happy heatwave.
Summer recipes for a heatwave
“If there’s one dish that epitomises Greek cuisine, it’s the Greek salad,” says Theo Michaels. Tomatoes are the star of the show, so buy the ripest, juiciest ones you can find. Try the recipe here.
Tom Kime’s vibrant noodle salad is refreshing, light and filling. Find the recipe here.
Dukkah is a nutty North African spice mix that goes with just about everything – try Stevan Paul’s open sandwich, sprinkled with dukkah, here.
This Middle Eastern salad is great on its own or as a side to grilled lamb or chicken – try Itab Izzam and Dina Mousawi’s recipe here.
Diana Henry’s quick tuna salad requires no cooking and takes just 10 minutes to prepare – buy the best quality tuna you can, as it really makes a difference. Find the recipe here.
Jennifer Joyce takes inspiration from Hawaii for her vibrant and light tuna salad.
A classic smorrebrod is easy, quick and can be made from whatever you have already in your fridge – Trine Hahnemann opts for the tried-and-tested combination of walnuts, celery, creme fraiche and grapes. Try the recipe here.
Diana Henry’s riff on pea soup is refreshing, soothing and beautifully light – try the recipe for a weekend lunch here.
This article is kept updated with the latest information.