By Alexandra Fleischman | May 30, 2013

Ninety degrees is a lot for me to handle regardless of what I’m doing. But cooking? That’s something both I and my kitchen just can’t do. Forget turning on the oven, I’ll order in, thank you.

The truth is, I have come to love food that can be prepared without turning on either a stove or oven. When I think of summer dinners growing up at home, I remember not the normal taco nights or pastas, but my mom’s cucumber salad in minty, lemony yogurt sauce. The tomatillo, sweet onion and black bean salads thrown together with cilantro and lime juice she made extra-tangy, and homemade popsicles and fruit salads for dessert with just a smidgen of added sugar. And of course, gazpacho.

With extra lime juice, this tomatillo, onion and black bean salad is surprisingly refreshing, light, and simple. Need a little more? Consider adding chopped up mango or avocado, or sprinkle queso fresco over the top with a sprig of cilantro for garnish.

Here are some more oven- and stove-free recipes to beat the heat:

Asparagus Radish Salad

Fennel and Blood Orange Salad

Marinated Celery

Tomatillo, Onion, and Black Bean Salad

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: None
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 sweet onion, medium sized
  • 5-6 tomatillos
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and stems removed
  • 3 limes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: avocado, mango, queso fresco


1. Peel off the husks of the tomatillos, and rinse. Cut into small wedges or chunks.

2. Dice the onion to a size somewhere between a tomatillo chunk and a black bean.

3. Combine the tomatillos, onion, and black beans in a bowl. Add a dash of olive oil (no more than a teaspoon), and mix. Chop the cilantro, and add.

4. Juice one lime into the mixture to start. Taste, and add more if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Optionally, add avocado, mango, or queso fresco.

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