Last week I cooked….

This week I cooked - Vegetal MattersSummer cooking can be paralyzing. We wait all year for the glut of food coming out of gardens and farmers markets in the Northeast and opportunities to cook and eat it outside. Now that it’s all here, it is so hard to pick just the right recipes to make the absolute best use of the moment. I save recipes for salads, grilled things, and produce heavy dishes all winter long, but now that it is the time to use them I want to do it all but at the same time just do the most simple thing to highlight the bounty. I’m trying not to overthink my cooking, and remember the January day long and cold ago when I resolved to embrace simplicity. Now is most definitely the time to do so, so more time can be spent soaking up glorious weather, ice cream cones, berries from the pick your own farm up the road, and reading in the grass.

Potato and chorizo tacos inspired by Mexico: The Cookbook, rice with diced tomatoes and chipotle in adobo, black beans, guacamole, and lime crema for simple but satisfying entertaining.

Saag paneer. I think I always make this recipe in the beginning of summer when greens are plentiful. I used a fifty-fifty mix of chard and collards instead of spinach, and I think most mild greens would work here.

Big salads with lots of lettuce from the garden, beans from the freezer, and lemon vinaigrette.

Chorizo and potato frittata, with more salad. I just used the shallots and parsley with lemon juice and olive oil to dress the salads. Cooking the potatoes beforehand made this way easier to put together than a more traditional tortilla, and also I would eat two planks of wood if there was chorizo in the middle.

Burgers with bleu cheese. There was only 93/7 lean/fat beef at the store which would have made for dry burgers, so I added a minced slice of bacon in for each patty. These were the highlight meal of the week by far. Juicy, flavorful burgers that were perfected with bleu cheese, sauteed red onion, a slice of lettuce and a Dijon-mayo mix.

Rhubarb cream cheese hand pies to bring to various Fourth of July celebrations. Labor intensive, but perfect and adorable tiny, portable pies.

Whole wheat raspberry and ricotta scones. These are beautifully mottled with raspberries and so moist from the ricotta.

Pasta with pesto, feta, cherry tomatoes, and sauteed kale that took almost no time to put together on a rare weekday off spent at home.