Cold dishes for hot days

Really good, but I can only eat about 2 1/2 slices at a time

Even with the air conditioning at full blast, soul-sucking Southern summers make us crave cold dishes. And we’re not just talking desserts. Both of the dishes below are versatile and simple, although the eggplant (or aubergines, if you rather) will need time to marinate. The chick pea salad is wonderful with some crumbled feta or roasted red bell pepper added to it. The leftovers are great to toss on salads for the next day’s lunch, so my lovely wife says.

Marinated eggplant

  • One large eggplant cut into 1/4-inch thick slices (about 12 slices)
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 fresh chile seeded and diced fine
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp salted capers rinsed and diced
  • 15-20 large fresh mint leaves chopped fine
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place eggplant slices in colander, sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse eggplants and brush with olive oil. Cook in batches in a skillet over high heat until golden brown. In a bowl, combine chile, garlic, capers and mint and season with salt and pepper. In a salad bowl layer eggplant slices then top with a couple spoonfuls of chile mix. Continue layering eggplant and chile mix until out of eggplant. Pour remaining olive oil over slices and let marinate in a cool place for at least six hours.

Guess who my favorite working comic is at the moment

Chickpea Salad

  • 2-3 cups chickpeas soaked overnight
  • 3 green onions diced fine
  • 1 tomato chopped medium
  • 1 bell pepper chopped medium
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • zest of one lime
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or more to taste

Cook chickpeas in salted water until done, about 2 hours. (Or use 2 cans of low sodium beans if you are running short on time). Drain beans and combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir to coat. Serve warm or refrigerate for one to three hours before serving for better flavor penetration. (I just coined that.)

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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59 Responses to Cold dishes for hot days

  1. perfect timing, greg. i have some chickpeas just waiting for an awesome new recipe. and this looks like just the ticket!
    ps – congrats on getting foodpressed today!

  2. Great recipes! I have a lot of chickpea salads I love. I bring a different one to each work potluck. Always a quick and easy dish that can be left out that is vegan and gluten-free. This one looks great!

  3. rutheh says:

    They all look delicious.

  4. Both dishes look delicious! But, I’m keen on the eggplant because I still have a whole jar of capers leftover from my Ina chicken dish!

  5. Flavour penetration? Love it, I might have to steal that, (with the appropriate acknowledgements of course!)
    Throw me your hot weather and I’ll swap you for our biting cold gusting wind.

  6. ChefMom says:

    Since I recently learned that I like chickpeas this recipe is perfect! The eggplant dish looks good too – I love eggplant! Are they spicy or mild with the chile?

  7. Oh boy, what fabulous dishes and beautifully photographed. Such great flavours.
    Sadly I am heading home to cold weather in 2 weeks time so these will have to wait a couple of months before I make them.
    πŸ™‚ Mandy

  8. Oh my.. I LOVE this marinated eggplant. I haven’t had eggplant in such a long time and I know my mom absolutely loves it. I have to send her this recipe and I love the chickpea salad.

  9. My Zia Franca used to make the eggplant/aubergine dish and fortunately taught my mum. When she has a glut of aubergines she also bottles them and does a very similar version but with vinegar so itΒ΄s like a pickled antipasto thing. I love chick peas and had to giggle as IΒ΄ve just posted a story which has a little bit in it about chick peas!

  10. Caroline says:

    Can you say yum? Love eggplant. Love chickpeas. Also, just realized we were both featured on today. Hooray!!

  11. Beautiful, delicious post Rufus. I could eat more than 2 slices of that eggplant!

  12. These are awesome recipes. No oven and very healthy! Have a wonderful weekend!

  13. Charles says:

    Damn I love aubergine… it’s one of those things I could eat till I pop, and this looks so great. Definitely something to try as soon as this rainy, cold spell we’re having here at the moment shifts over!

  14. banbamama says:

    Oh, your aubergine dish reminds me of my mother’s grilled aubergine slices. I must ask her for the recipe. I used to love it.. I find it interesting that you cook the aubergine first and then marinate it. Why is that? I am going to make the chickpea salad this weekend. Looks great, just wish I had the hot weather to accompany it with πŸ™‚

  15. I love eggplant and I love chickpeas..
    both dishes look amazing! Thanx for sharing

  16. Colline says:

    Mmm, chickpea salad does look good πŸ™‚

  17. spicegirlfla says:

    Eggplants and garbanzo bean are my favorites so you’ve just given me two recipes to try out this HOT weekend! I’m right with you on not wanting to heat up my kitchen often this summer! I love the mix for the beans, the colors really pop!

  18. Ginger says:

    Beautiful photos! I have a question, please no one laugh at me for it because I really don’t know the difference… Can I substitute the chili with a jalepeno in the eggplant dish? I just picked one up yesterday and would love to use it but don’t know if it would be a proper substitute!

  19. ChgoJohn says:

    I, too, favor cold dishes in Summer and that eggplant dish will definitely be making an appearance at my table in the weeks ahead. Thanks for sharing.

  20. These look so full of flavor and maybe even I could make them! You make things look so gorgeous and easy to create. I am ready to try these now and I am still in midmorning coffee!

  21. These both seem perfect for summer!

  22. That chickpea salad looks wonderful and I love the simplicity of the ingredients. My list of things to make from your selections is rapidly growing!

  23. You have a real talent for making vegetables look so delicious and edible. I would love to be given either of these delicious dishes, even though it is cold, wet and windy here in the UK today – summer, what summer?! I would give anything for a southern sweat right now. Thanks for the inspiration, going to try the chick pea with feta which is my absolute favourite salty cheese.

  24. Looks delicious, and a timely post too! It’s always hard to keep satisfying but light meals creative in the summer!

  25. This is my favorite kind of food! Nice recipes and photos!

  26. Mmm, I’m addicted to chickpeas! And that citrus will add the perfect kick!

  27. says:

    These would be perfect for a Fourth of July picnic. This year I’m hoping to be more prepared and actually celebrate.

    Or, I’m thinking grilled panini with the eggplant in the middle? So many tasty directions to go with these recipes…!

  28. LOL! Love the new coined phrase, flavor penetration. I think it works well. That chickpea salad is calling my name! Oh how light and flavorful it is and good for you! Great recipes!

  29. gisellecagli says:

    Great dishes!!!!!!! I love both eggplants and chickpeas…they are so mediterranean!!!!!

  30. Kelly says:

    Eggplant gives me itchy tongue – an oral allergy of sorts – so I don’t tend to make it that often but I particularly like the chickpea salad – so refreshing and satisfying – love the combination of lime and olive oil.

    • Charles says:

      I’m lucky in that I have no food allergies that I’ve found thus far, with the exception of a slight allergy to alcohol (seriously, lol – having a drink has a tendancy to make my face go all red and flushed for about an hour afterwards), although I did have one aubergine (eggplant to you guys) that both my wife and I had an adverse reaction to once. It was quite horrible – flavour wasn’t at all like normal aubergines and it made our mouth feel slightly itchy. Maybe the result of some nasty chemical sprayed on it or something. I feel so sorry for people who have to experience that any time they eat something which I just take for granted!

  31. eva626 says:

    chickpeas!!! i just love them… too bad we ran out at my house..i tried to use red kidney beans to mimic them in my salad but its just not the same

  32. nrhatch says:

    Love chickpea salad (and hummus). Looks marvelous!

  33. SimpleP says:

    This is my kind of food. Healthy, colorful, fresh.

  34. jenlenew says:

    I love chickpea salads! I’ll have to give this one a try

  35. rsmacaalay says:

    I love the smell of eggplants when cooking over a skillet and grill, it wakes my senses up. The flavour combination in this dish is something definitely worth a try

  36. niasunset says:

    They are great! And I can imagine how beautiful with fresh mint, I love everything with eggplant! And your chickpea salad seems so delicious too. Have you tried with rucola? Thank you Rufus, it was inspirational for me, I know what to cook tomorrow πŸ™‚ with my love, nia

  37. Yuri says:

    Both recipes look great! Its so hot lately that these are the kind of food I should be eating. Lots of fresh chilled fruit too πŸ™‚

  38. Hi Rufus, thanks for the comment on my blog. Love this post – the aubergine (egg-plant) looks excellent. Definitely one i’ll try!

  39. midaevalmaiden says:

    After reading this recipe, Im feeling inspired. Im thinking these would be great make ahead dishes, to take on camping trips. They could be kept cool by being placeed in a mountain stream.

  40. Yum! I love eggplant! I can’t wait to try these!

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  43. Erin Renee says:

    Oh my gosh! The CHICKPEAS! That’s a BRILLIANT recipe! I know what I’m taking in MY lunch this week.

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