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Cool dishes for hot days

Myaree, Western Australia: Western Rock Lobster, Easter recipe by Scott Bridger. January 21, 2022 (Photo: Sabine Albers)
When the heat is on, few of us feel like cooking. Well, at least not anything that involves turning on the oven or spending hours in the kitchen.  

And why should you? There are endless ways to make local produce sing without breaking out in a sweat. Here are some simple solutions for those hot (and I can’t be bothered) days.

Seafood sensations

One way to make guests feel special without spending hours in the kitchen is to serve fresh seafood.

If you’re feeding a crowd, grab a few kilos of Western king prawns or brown tiger prawns from Running Wild Fishing and pull together this easy-peasy chilled prawn spread.  If you feel like firing up the barbie (it’s outdoors so the heat doesn’t count), this BBQ seafood platter will keep everyone happy.

For a no-fuss dinner with a couple of friends, a poached lobster salad makes the most of our famous Western rock lobster, while the Hawaiian octopus poke bowl is refreshing at any time of the day.

Still stuck for inspiration? Head to your local seafood supplier, such as Great Southern Seafoods in Albany or Endeavour Foods in Hamilton Hill, and browse Western Australia’s finest. They are bound to have some great suggestions about how to serve their catch of the day, too.

Barbie mates

Entertaining outdoors is cool, even if you’re firing up the barbie or the grill. Try West Australian Corn Growers’ fresh cobs slathered in garlic butter and cooked in foil, or slices of capsicum and zucchini tossed in olive oil, for starters.

Choosing high quality meat is also important (for the non-vegetarians, of course) – the better the produce you start with, the better the end result. Pick up a kilo of Lilydale Free Range Chicken thighs to make this glazed BBQ chicken with citrus dressing and everyone will be licking their fingers.

Or visit one of our knowledgeable butchers, such as Ryan’s Quality Meats or Homestead Meats, and get some expert advice on the best kebabs for the barbie, or how to cook a leg of lamb on the Weber.

Super salads

We tend to think of salads as an accompaniment but they don’t just have to be sides.  Pair some fresh vegetables with a protein, such as a cooked chicken from the deli or slices of leftover beef or lamb from the previous night’s barbie, and you’ve got a quick meal for the whole family.

If you’re after something lighter, this ceviche is a delightful lunch on a warm day, while the elegant simplicity of a classic caprese salad will always hit the right spot.

Keep plenty of WA Potatoes in your cupboard and you’ll always have a salad to hand. Potato salad is popular for good reason – it’s filling, delicious and there are so many variations. Try this potato radish salad for a cool change, or tantalise the tastebuds with a grilled potato, cucumber, mint and cos salad

If you do just want a simple side, grab a pre-packed bag of luscious leaves from Gourmet Selections, add chopped fresh cucumber, Mitri Hydroponics tomatoes, some sliced red onion or radish, and top it off with Farmland Greens’ sprouts or shoots and a smattering of fresh herbs. Mix a couple of tablespoons of olive oil from Great Southern Groves with a tablespoon of Black Garlic & Co’s aged balsamic, add some salt and pepper, and drizzle over the top. Delicious!

Fuss-free feed

If you really need a day off cooking, don’t head to the nearest fast-food outlet, tempting though it may be. Make a beeline for one of our wonderful providores,  such as Fresh Provisions (in Bicton and Mt Lawley) to The Herdsman and the Floreat Market and Scutti Fresh Markets Applecross, where the pre-made choices are as fresh as they are abundant. There are platters, cooked meat, homemade curries and pies, as well as lasagnes and quiches. Pretty much anything your heart could desire made from the freshest ingredients. All you need add is the wine.

Sweet treats

We haven’t forgotten dessert, but we’re also being lazy. So think seasonal fruit and lots of it, sliced up and arranged on a platter for everyone to help themselves. Or spice things up a bit and soak some berries from Yanchep Springs or Berry Sweet in a little Cointreau and serve with fresh cream or yoghurt. If you really want to finish on a sweet note, grab a tub of The Cheeky Cow ice-cream and drizzle with a little nectar of the gods from Little Eeden Farm. Yum.