It’s the first week of summer, which means there’s no better time to play my favorite game …
ie. “What to do with that _____ you see in the peasant market !?” Good news? You don’t have to work hard. Here’s where to start.
Zucchini – I love passing them through the crusher; squeezing with a dry towel; topping with olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper; then piling up the pizza dough. You can add a layer of chopped mozzarella under the zucchini or, for a more dramatic experience, just break up a little burrata on top after it comes out of the oven (as shown above). In any case, it should bake for about 10 to 15 minutes at 450 ° F. (Don’t forget to grease the rim of your dough with olive oil.) This tastes great and at room temperature.
Sugar peas “I couldn’t think of anything else since I spied on Hana Asbrink.” Sesame pea chicken salad u New York Times last week. You may come across a canvas wall that accesses the official recipe, but a shortcut, a version to send text to friends might read like this: Chop the chicken from a rotisserie at the store, then top with trimmed sugar peas, spring onions, sesame seeds, chili and sesame topping ginger- soy sauce. Serve hot or chilled.
Nuts – We’re probably still a week or two apart climax peaches and plums, but I love them so much that I can’t resist a half-dozen dice every time I stop by the farm market. The thing is, even when they haven’t achieved the ideal sweetness, they can still chop a peach with tomato, arugula, small balls of mozzarella, sliced basil, olive oil, salt and pepper, and serve on toast, in a bruschetta style. (Or, if you fail, just toast the halved fruit with a little cinnamon-sugar and melted melted butter for dessert.) If your plums aren’t soft and dripping with sweetness, I can still add a lovely tan to the chicken.
Cucumbers – In the morning, mash a few peeled, seeded, chopped cucumbers in a blender with crushed avocado, a little spring onion, lime juice, plain yogurt, olive oil, salt, pepper, cilantro or mint (and water to achieve the desired consistency), then blend and cool until later in the day. Your guest will be so grateful if you just throw that pitcher into the soup bowls and top with more herbs and chilled shrimp if you feel like it.
Eggplant – This may sound surprising, but I only recently fell in love with eggplant. I will eat any kind at any time of the year, but at this time of year, I will especially look for spotted graffiti or varieties of fairy tales, chop them and fry in garlic oil until overcooked, then add cashews or peanuts, feta, chili oil and mint. It’s usually lunch. If I want to have dinner for him, I’ll add rice or baked tofu.
Asparagus – We are almost at the end of the asparagus season here in New York, but I will grab them until the last possible moment. You can 100% toss the spears with olive oil, salt and pepper, then grill them and serve with fresh lemon juice and parma along with a piece of grilled chicken or pork or tofu. But if I want to upgrade asparagus to superstar status, I mix it (after steaming) with olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to make the most rocky, aromatic green sauce for salmon, chicken or spaghetti. Dilute it with vegetable soup or water, and you can also serve it with croutons, yogurt and chives for soup.
Kohlrabi – Some of you may have spied on piles of these at your favorite vendor and scratched your head before switching to the more famous cabbage. I’ve been doing this for so long, before I realized that when you peel a tough outer layer and then chop the kohlrabi into small cubes, it adds that crucial crunch to so many dishes – salads, fries, croissants, bean salads, tuna salads. The gluten-free kit might want to know about the way Stone Barnes chef Dan Barber once arranged them: he peeled and then sliced super thin slices to make shells out of shredded pork tacos.
Who else counts the minutes until the corn and tomato season?
PS Quick spring dinners i 9 rules for better salads.
(Photo: Christine Han for Vegetarians on weekdays.)