Dishes Best Served Cold, Like Revenge

Rochelle Bilow


We’ve been told time and time again that it’s important to forgive those who’ve wronged us—it’s better for our overall emotional and spiritual health. But hell, who’re we kidding? There’s nothing like some good, old-fashioned, intricately plotted revenge, served ice cold.

Which reminds us—some of our favorite foods are best served cold, too (we may hold a grudge, but we’re also easily distracted). From gazpacho to an icy martini, these are our favorite foods to eat with a chilly disposition.

Olive Oil Ice Cream: You might be wondering, “Does this really taste good?” The answer is yes. It tastes almost as good as revenge. What wouldn’t taste good, though, is if you also sautéed some onions and garlic and folded them into this ice cream, served it in a chocolate-dipped waffle cone with sprinkles, and let someone have at it. Just let that thought marinate for a bit…

Raspberry and Aperol Floats: Ice cream will make you forget all of the world’s ills. So will Aperol. But what if you took your first sip of what looked like the world’s greatest ice cream float, and instead of creamy vanilla ice cream, you stuck a straw into a giant frozen ball of ice? That would be the worst. The absolute worst.

Ice Cream Sandwiches: This recipe calls for baking one giant cookie. Try very hard not to forget your plans for revenge when baking a giant cookie. Like eating a giant cookie in front of those who’ve wronged you, and not offering them a bite. Not a single bite. That’d be brutal.

Iced Cucumber Soup with Mint, Watercress, and Feta Cheese: You may feel hot under the collar, but this soup will keep you as cool as a cucumber (ha!). Let’s be honest—this is not a recipe for weight loss (we still love ya though, feta!). But it looks like a recipe for weight loss. Time for your Regina George moment.

Ajo Blanco: This version of white gazpacho, traditionally made with green grapes, is brightened with the addition of green apple. You, however, can keep your mood stormy as you dig in. The velvety texture makes it luscious for slurping, and terrible (terrible!) to clean out of one’s hair and favorite new shirt.

Watermelon Gazpacho: It’s pretty hard to stay in a bad mood when eating this bright pink, creamy, and sweet soup—but gosh darn it, you are going to try. Anyway, here’s what we’re thinking for your perfect revenge. You buy a lot of watermelons. We’re talkin’ a lot. Like 20, maybe 30. You stockpile the suckers, right? And then, in the middle of the night (for 20, maybe 30 nights), you place a watermelon on your enemy’s doorstep. Every night. An entire watermelon. What can anyone do with all that watermelon? They’ll make this soup, sure, and maybe hollow one out and fill it with vodka, but after that? After that, they’re just a schmuck with a porch full of watermelons, trying to figure out why this is happening to them. And you, my friend, are a winner. (recipe below)

For 6 more cold dishes, visit!

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves plus more, torn, for garnish

  • 4 whole cloves

  • 2 whole star anise

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 plum tomato

  • 3 cups 1-inch pieces chilled seedless watermelon (about 1 pound)

  • 1 cup 1-inch pieces chilled peeled cucumber

  • 1/4 cup (or more) fresh lime juice

  • 1/2 red Thai chile, thinly sliced

  • Kosher salt

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Freshly ground black pepper


Bring 2 cups basil leaves, next 5 ingredients, and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Let basil syrup cool completely.

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Using the tip of a knife, make two shallow 1-inch cuts through skin at bottom of tomato, forming an X. Blanch in water just until skin at X begins to lift, 30–40 seconds.

Transfer to a small bowl of ice water; let cool until cold, about 5 minutes. Peel and halve tomato. Scoop out and discard seeds.

Purée reserved basil syrup, tomato, melon, cucumber, 1/4 cup lime juice, and chile in a blender until very smooth. Season with salt and more lime juice, if desired.

Divide gazpacho among bowls. Drizzle with a little olive oil; garnish with pepper and torn basil leaves.