Springy recipes for the sunny season

As the weather warms and quickly turns hot, we normally begin to enjoy cookouts with our friends and family.

Easy cucumber salad (photo credit: ELISSABETH)
Easy cucumber salad
(photo credit: ELISSABETH)
As the weather warms and quickly turns hot, we normally begin to enjoy cookouts with our friends and family. We also return to summer flavors like lemon, blueberries and fried foods, which just don’t taste quite as good in the winter.
This year has been unusual in many ways due to COVID-19. Cookouts have been limited to those we live with and only if one has the space to do them from home, while shopping for seasonal treats isn’t as easy as it was in past years.
Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the taste of summer and these easy recipes will help you do that.
The writer is the author of www.thetasteofkosher.com which is a kosher food blog specializing in dairy-free baking and cultural cuisines – especially Israeli.  
Easy cucumber salad
Serves 4
1 pound cucumbers, thinly sliced (500 grams)
2 tsp. salt
2½ tsp. white sugar
2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
½ small onion, thinly sliced
Fresh dill, to taste, optional
In a medium bowl, toss the cucumber slices with salt and let sit for five minutes. Stir in sugar, vinegar, and onion refrigerate for 10 minutes. Add fresh dill to taste if desired.

Corn dogs
Yields 8 corn dogs
1 cup cornmeal (150 grams)
1 cup all-purpose flour (120 grams)
¼ cup white sugar (50 grams)
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 egg
1 cup water
8 hot dogs
Fill a pot up most of the way with oil. Heat. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Then add the egg and water and mix until a smooth batter forms. Pour batter into a tall cup. Fill about ¾ high. Lightly coat each hot dog with flour. Shake off the excess and put the hot dog on a skewer. Dip in the batter. Remove and let the excess drip off. Then slowly put the hot dog in oil. Repeat with the next hot dog. Make sure not to crowd the pot. Remove each hot dog when it becomes golden brown.
Dairy-free lemon bars
Yields 9 servings
Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour (120 grams)
¼ cup white sugar (50 grams)
6 Tbsp. oil (80 grams)
Pinch salt
Lemon filling
2 eggs
1 medium lemon, juiced
¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
Dusting
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, oil, and salt. Press to the bottom of parchment paper lined 8 x 8 inch pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden brown. In the same bowl, whisk together eggs, lemon juice, sugar, and flour. The filling should be runny. When the crust is ready, remove it from the oven and pour the mixture into the pan. Bake for another 20 minutes. Remove and let cool completely before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar.
Dairy-free blueberry muffins
Yields 20 muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour (255 grams)
1 cup white sugar (250 grams)
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 eggs
¹⁄3 cup oil (80 milliliters)
½ cup water (120 milliliters)
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 cup blueberries, washed and drained
Topping
¼ cup white sugar, optional (50 grams)
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Whisk to combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, oil, water, and vanilla. Mash ½ cup of the blueberries. Add the mashed and whole berries to the batter. Stir just to combine and distribute. Use a ladle to pour the batter into paper-lined muffin pan. If desired, sprinkle about ½ tsp. granulated sugar atop each muffin. Bake the muffins for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean. They should be light golden brown on top. Remove the muffins from the oven. Let sit for five minutes before transfer them to a rack to cool.