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Recipes and Stories

16 July 2022: Simple Summer Cooking and Minestrone

Minestrone with Pesto


One of the great ironies of summer is that it's the very time of year when vegetable soups are at their best, since all the ingredients are at peak season, just when the last thing one wants to do is stand over a hot stove.


Luckily, these soups really don't require the cook to stand over them for more than a few minutes. You put it together before the kitchen is heated up, hang around only as long as it takes for it to come to a simmer, then just walk away Read More 

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13 July 2022: Simple Summer Cooking III—Pasta with Summer Squash and Herbs

Pasta with Yellow Summer Squash, Scallions, and Herbs


Of all the lovely ways there are to prepare summer squash, I never tire of pairing it with pasta, partly because I love what they do for one another and partly because the possibilities are practically endless.


Whether it's zucchini or our own delicate yellow crooknecks, their silky texture and subtly sweet flavor make a fine sauce for practically any pasta shape.


So when I came by some beautiful and fresh small yellow squash at the farmers' market, at least one of them was sure to end up in a bowl of pasta.  Read More 

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11 July 2022: Simple Summer Cooking II—Tomato Salad

Exquisitely Simple Tomato, Sweet Onion, and Basil Salad


Because I was late putting in our little herb garden, the basil is only just now full enough for the first batch of pesto. But clipping the tips back to make it fuller has given nice little handfuls for stirring into things like pasta with zucchini or filling in for lettuce in a BLT.


The best, however, is always  Read More 

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6 July 2022: Simple Summer Cooking I—Fresh Berry Compote

A Simple Compote of Seasonal Berries with Grand Marnier


Summer in the South (or, for that matter, anywhere) is full of irony for cooks. The bounty of produce inspires us at the very moment that the heat and humidity kill off any interest in being in front of a hot stove. The compensation is of course that summer is when the ingredients need the least amount of help from the cook. Indeed, they often don't need any help at all.


There's not much one can do to improve on a good peach or tomato that has been allowed to ripen to peak flavor on its tree or vine. If you doubt that, then you've never plucked one of either, given it a wipe or rinse, and bitten into it on the spot.


You might call it lazy, but there's wisdom (not to mention less chance of heatstroke) in knowing when to leave things alone. Read More 

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