It's been boiling hot on the East Coast this past week, and nothing would make me turn on the oven, heat up a grill pan or even turn on the heat to boil water.
EAST COAST EATS: Meals have evolved around what was at the farmers market, simply prepared. ("No-cook", where ever possible). Here are some things we ate:
SUGAR SNAP PEA SALAD: Sugar snap peas, sliced, and tossed in a dressing inspired by the sugar snap salad from Má Pêche. The dressing is made by blending silken tofu, with chili paste, canola oil, sherry vinegar, soy, and a tiny bit of sugar. The tofu gives the dressing it's creaminess. (Tofu! What an unusual idea for a dressing!).
HAND MADE RICOTTA: I love the creamy, slightly smoky taste of Salvatore Hand Made Smoked Ricotta. Have it spread on store-bought Garlic Naan, with a side salad of fresh cut Watermelon, and cold tall glasses of Cucumber water.
GREEN SMOOTHIE: I'm addicted to a smoothie I've been making every day in a blender; It contains two big handfuls of fresh Spinach leaves, 3 or 4 cut chunks of frozen Pineapple and enough Coconut Water to blend. (You can even add a touch of Agave if you have a sweet tooth!) The frozen pineapple, keeps the drink chilled (without watering it down like ice cubes would) and makes the smoothie creamy and frothy. It's like a spinach piña colada. (It's so good, trust me!)
ROAST CHICKEN IN LEMON AND GARLIC: Pick up a Rotisserie chicken on the way home (preferably natural and free range). Take 4 large Garlic cloves, mince them, sprinkle with Salt and dragging the flat side of a chef's knife over the garlic-salt mixture to form a paste. Heat a small saucepan over a low heat and cook the Garlic paste in oil, and add lemon juice (until warmed, not brown). Pour over the chicken.
SHAVED ZUCCHINI OR SQUASH SALAD: Thinly slice the Squash (yellow and green) using a vegetable peeler lengthwise into strips. Toss with Lemon juice and zest, Oil, Mint from the garden, and coarsely chopped Almonds for crunch. You could even add a little bit of minced Thai Chili for some heat.
On the West Coast, Colin Clark went on a camping trip this past week up in Mendocino. (His pictures are above). They tried to get into Russian Gulch campground but were turned away, then they asked locals where they should go and they pointed them to spot off the beaten path, which turned out to be a beautiful little campground.
WEST COAST EATS: The food they ate was simple; Colin picked up some charcoal, two cans of refriend beans, an avocado, a block of sharp cheddar, a sweet potato, tortillas, some pickled peppers and a couple of links of hot Italian sausage. He bought some button mushrooms and the remains of some kale from the fridge. They sauteed everything in a cast iron skillet, done on top of flaming charcoal.
On either coast, Summer? It's all about simplicity.