Summer go-to Recipes

I love summer for so many reasons: I don’t have to work, warmer weather, long twilight evenings, outdoor concerts–the list goes on and on.  But one of the very best things about summer is the array of produce that becomes available at farmers’ markets and our local fruit stand.  My market bag gets so heavy because I can’t resist the beautiful veggies and fruits that are calling me to make some of my favorite recipes.

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When I see the first ripe tomatoes hit the market stalls, I must make Carolyn Wente’s Blue Cheese Tomato Galette.  When my own tomato plants start to produce, I bring the food mill out of deep storage and fill the freezer with quarts of sauce, frozen in plastic bags.  Ears of corn call for suppers of enchiladas or Corn and Green Chile Chowder (from the Greens Cookbook)  or the Pepper and Corn Soup with Basil from Fields of Greens.

Speaking of basil, my favorite pesto recipe is still this one from page 81 of The Silver Palate Cookbook.  When we make pesto, we often take Alice Waters’ advice and sauté some zucchini with garlic, toast some walnuts, and add those to pasta pesto for extra flavor and crunch.  The ubiquitous zucchini brings up several summer favorites:  zucchini bread (of course!), summer squash soup, ratatouille, and three other pastas besides the one with pesto.  Here’s one here.

Even thought it isn’t strictly summery, the recipe that I go to most often for a reliable, tasty, healthy, big pot of soup is Deborah Madison’s Lentil Minestrone from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.  It’s one of those soups that gets better and better as it sits.  The last bowl is always the best.

And now, I’m going to go harvest some lettuce, some yellow pear tomatoes, and a small green pepper to make a salad to accompany that last, best bowl.

Any suggestions for other go-to recipes?


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