Summer Vegetables

Summer Vegetables

On our hottest days, making something that's stereotypically summer, like a pasta salad, means putting a pot of water on the stove to boil and on some days, that is unbearable. Happily, there are some wonderful, easy and appealing no-cook dishes:

There's also gazpacho, a summer favorite. You'll need the help of a Spanish chef to take you through all the different ways to make gazpacho -- some are without tomatoes and made with finely-ground almonds as the main ingredient. But my favorite gazpacho tastes like a salad soup, with mostly tomatoes and a little vinegar for snap and eggs to give it body. We've just published a new recipe that is best eaten well chilled and in a big bowl with a piece of excellent bread. A peeled ripe peach for dessert and you'll have a perfect meal for one of late summer's scalding days.

But if we only eat non-cooked food during these late summer days we will miss out on the calendar's prize: summer vegetables. The best thing about cooking with summer vegetables is that they are best made with little gloss and little fuss. So if you don't mind suffering a little time with the stovetop turned on (but no oven!), you'll be rewarded with the best flavors of the year. A few tips:

We've added some new recipes at The City Cook to make this last point. Pan-wilted julienne of zucchini, steamed little potatoes with good butter and fresh dill, and broccoli with garlic.

As for this end-of-August heat wave that's settled here in New York City, it's enough to make any city cook reach for a take-out menu. But I'm resisting. Tonight it's a Naples Tomato Salad and room temperature slices of a quickly seared duck breast. And a tall glass of something cold enough to leave a wet, drippy ring on the table.





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