A Delicious No-Cook Dinner

The other option for the title of this post was: It’s 900 Degrees, There’s No Way I’m Turning on the Oven. Just in case you were wondering.

Welcome to summer! Technically I think it has been summer for almost a month now, but I always feel like mid-July is when it really starts feeling like summer. Mid-July, I am learning, is also when we fine Arkansas folk give up on any dreams of a cool evening breeze, excessive snowfall, or the drunk-on-Bud-Light neighbors putting more clothes on while at the pool.

I am always on the look out for fresh, easy, healthy, and delicious looking meals to make and share with all of you. This one comes to us from the pages of Martha Stewart Living – the August edition.  Martha tends to be a little crazy in her meal options, ie a cake I once made for Valentine’s Day that involved 7 hours of meticulous labor.

As much as I love a good dose of crazy, nobody wants to be standing over the stove or turning the oven to 450 when it’s already 450 outside. Soooo, when I saw this month’s “What’s for Dinner” feature and noticed it did not involve any cooking, I practically squealed!

On the  menu: Marinated Tuna with baguette {the best part!}, smooth gazpacho, and a delicious bottle of red. Martha suggested serving this along with a crudite plate and cantelope for dessert, but I didn’t feel like chopping any more veggies and I don’t like melon… so that took care of that.

First up, I chopped some tomatoes, half of an English cucumber, and half of an onion,  using my immersion blender to get a smooth and creamy texture. You could also use a regular blender, but I don’t have one. Isn’t that strange? I have always wanted a blender.

“A Blender! I mean, what is this 1955 where you give the little wife a blender? It scared me you know…. as far as his ex-pec-tations!

Name that movie.

This gazpacho really appealed to me because I love a smooth and creamy texture. If you prefer your gazpacho chunky, just blend it a little less, or throw in some whole chunks of tomato before you set it aside to chill.

As the gazpacho was chilling, I sliced the 2nd half of the onion, zested a lemon and sliced the zest into thin strips, threw in some lemon juice, a bit of olive oil, a substantial amount of salt and pepper, a handful of fresh oregano leaves, and a nice serving of nicoise olives {my favorite, but you can use whichever kind you prefer} into a medium sized serving bowl.  I mixed all of these ingredients together, and then added two drained cans of Italian tuna which I found at the specialty shop up the street.

I have read and heard chefs rave about this Italian canned tuna for years now, but never really had an occasion to buy it. It is a bit more expensive than a can of Bumble Bee, but it was completely worth it.  The flavor was absolutely delightful, and so much more rich than any other canned tuna I have tried.  Yum.

Once the tuna was combined with the other ingredients {I tried to keep it in as large of chunks as I could} I stuck that in the fridge and let the flavors meld. Thirty minutes later, dinner was served.

*note: to serve the gazpacho, I ladled it into bowls and then topped it with a light drizzle of olive oil as well as some freshly ground pepper.*

Fresh and flavorful, this dinner  made me feel like a cool Provencal woman whipping together a quick meal with the ingredients from the local market. Of course, I bought all of my ingredients at a superstore… I digress.

For those interested, I served my new favorite “budget” red wine: McManis Petit Syrah. Full of flavor, great to drink on it’s own or with a handful of foods, and under $12.

Happy summer eating!